WASHINGTON: The US Senate on Wednesday dealt a stinging bipartisan rebuke to Donald Trump’s foreign policy and his alliance with Riyadh, voting to end support for the bloody Saudi-led war effort in Yemen, reports AFP.
Lawmakers in the Republican-controlled chamber approved a historic curtailment of presidential war powers that directs Trump “to remove United States Armed Forces from hostilities in or affecting the Republic of Yemen” within 30 days.The Senate vote was 54 to 46, with seven Republicans defying the president and aligning with Democrats.
The text now heads to the Democrat-led House of Representatives, which approved a similar measure that stalled earlier this year, and which is likely to pass the latest effort. The White House has threatened a veto, calling the measure “flawed” and saying it would harm bilateral relationships in the region and hurt Washington’s ability to fight extremism.
But its full passage would set a historic marker. It would be the first measure passed by Congress to invoke the 1973 War Powers Resolution to directly curtail a president’s use of military powers.
“Today, we begin the process of reclaiming our constitutional power by ending US involvement in a war that has not been authorized by Congress and is clearly unconstitutional,” Senator Bernie Sanders, who is running for president in 2020 and is a sponsor of the measure, said on the Senate floor. Republican Senator Mike Lee concurred, saying Saudi Arabia “is not an ally that deserves our support or our military intervention.”
The Saudis, he said, “are likely using our own weapons... to commit these atrocities of war. That’s not OK.”
The war in Yemen is the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with an estimated 14 million people at risk of famine.Meanwhile, the United Nations Security Council met behind closed doors on Wednesday to try to salvage a stalled truce deal in Yemen seen as crucial to diplomatic efforts to end the devastating war.
Yemen’s government and its Saudi and Emirati allies agreed in talks with Huthi rebels nearly a month ago to redeploy their forces from the flashpoint city of Hodeida, but nothing has happened on the ground.