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Senate passes resolution to end USA involvement in Yemen's civil war

16 March, 2019, 09:54 | Author: Lucille Rivera
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If the resolution passes both chambers of Congress, it would mark the first time that Congress has successfully invoked the War Powers Resolution to end US engagement in a conflict.

The Senate passed a resolution Wednesday calling for an end to the United States' involvement in Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen. The Democratic Senators were joined by six Republican Senators.

If it passes in the House, it would be the first time in history Congress has invoked the 1973 War Powers Resolution, which says Congress determines when the USA goes to war, not the president.

The Senate gave President Donald Trump a strong rebuke and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., left, and Sen.

Wednesday's resolution will be considered in the now Democrat-led House of Representatives, and is thought likely to pass.

Coalition forces led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have relentlessly bombed Yemen since 2015 in an effort to oust the Houthi rebels controlling the capital city of Sana'a.

The bill also directs the President "to remove US Armed Forces from hostilities in or affecting the Republic of Yemen, except those engaged in operations directed at Al Qaeda or associated forces", within 30 days after the resolution's enactment. The statement argues that this is in violation of President Trump's constitutional powers, saying it is inappropriate to "override the President's determination as Commander-in-Chief".

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It's also another strong rebuke of President Donald Trump's support for Saudi Arabia, which has been a point of tension with Congress since the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi previous year. Lawmakers from both parties have criticized Trump for not condemning Saudi Arabia strongly enough for the killing. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., who co-sponsored the Sanders bill along with Sen.

At the same time, the vote also has wider implications for US foreign policy outside of ending the war in Yemen. "Concerns about Saudi human rights issues should be addressed with the administration and with Saudi officials". "The Senate's vote to end the US role in Yemen is also a vote to re-democratize our nation's foreign policy".

Some also contended that stopping USA support would help Iran, and potentially prolong the conflict by ending Washington's ability to influence Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, a partner in the conflict, to pursue a sustainable political settlement.

United States forces previously provided targeting support for coalition airstrikes and even mid-air refueling for coalition planes, until that practice was reportedly discontinued late a year ago.

"Now that the new Senate has passed the resolution, the House needs to pass the same clean version of the resolution to finally send it to the president's desk", Paul Kawika Martin, senior director for policy and political affairs at Peace Action, said.

The war in Yemen is the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with an estimated 14 million people at risk of starvation.

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