Published: Fri, March 15, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Senate approves ending U.S. role in Yemen as Trump threatens veto

Senate approves ending U.S. role in Yemen as Trump threatens veto

The Senate voted Wednesday to end US support for the Saudi Arabian-led coalition's war in Yemen, bringing Congress one step closer to a unprecedented rebuke of President Donald Trump's foreign policy. US support for the Saudis does not constitute engaging in "hostilities", the statement said, and the Yemen resolution "seeks to override the president's determination as commander in chief".

A Yemeni soldier is pictured near a poster portraying Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Yemen's President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi outside a hospital renovated by Saudi Arabia in Aden, Yemen December 13, 2018.

Opponents argued that the War Powers Resolution does not apply because the U.S.is not directly involved in combat in Yemen.

Seven Republicans broke with Trump to support the resolution, which was co-sponsored by Sens. In an attempt to "halt American military involvement in a foreign conflict", this is the first time the decade-old War Powers Resolution was invoked.

Meanwhile, revelations that interests connected with the Trump administration were in negotiations to sell the Saudis nuclear technology have shed new light on the president's cozy relationship with the embattled kingdom.

"Our focus should be on ending the war in Yemen responsibly", he said.

Republican Senator Mike Lee concurred, saying Saudi Arabia "is not an ally that deserves our support or our military intervention".

"We should think twice about undermining those very partners whose cooperation we need for our own security", Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said on the Senate floor ahead of the vote.

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.

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In this February 12, 2018, photo, Saudi-led coalition forces are seen in Yemen.

"The bottom line is the United States should not be supporting a catastrophic war led by a despotic regime with a unsafe and irresponsible foreign policy", Mr. Sanders said. However, in recent months Washington's support has been tested on account of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

"The Senate's vote to end the USA role in Yemen is also a vote to re-democratize our nation's foreign policy".

"Peace envoys are telling us they want deeper USA engagement in this situation", Risch said in a statement following the vote.

Mike Lee of Utah, the vote passed in a final count of 54-46.

It is the second time the Senate has approved a measure that would curb USA military involvement in Yemen.

Approaching its fifth year, the war in Yemen has killed thousands and left thousands more on the brink of starvation, creating what the United Nations called the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

Murphy said that after the Senate voted for a similar resolution a year ago, the warring parties in Yemen moved towards a cease fire.

US Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) recently told Washington-based publication The Hill that the vote could be "tight", but that the measure would be able to gain the required amount of vote to pass.

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