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Senate votes to end USA support of Yemen war

Senate votes to end USA support of Yemen war

The Senate passed a resolution Wednesday calling for an end to the United States' involvement in Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen.

The Senate has passed "war powers" legislation ordering the president to cease and desist his cooperation with Saudi Arabia in the destruction of Yemen.

"Today we said enough - enough with this disastrous and unconstitutional war, enough with facilitating this humanitarian disaster, enough with giving the Saudis a blank check". The resolution was introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

The World Health Organization says about 10,000 people have been killed in the war between forces loyal to the Yemeni government, backed by the Saudi-led coalition, and the Iran-aligned Houthi rebels. Its backers have argued that USA involvement in the conflict violates the constitutional requirement that Congress alone can authorize participation in war. Both House and Senate measures garnered significant bipartisan support before it.

Action on Yemen now shifts to the House, which already passed a resolution mandating USA withdrawal from the Saudi/UAE Yemen war.

The head of the Yemen Peace Project, an advocacy group based in Washington, said she believes previous congressional pressure played a big role in pushing the coalition toward a peace agreement and Wednesday's vote would likely "move the ball forward again". Mike Lee, R- Utah. "Concerns about Saudi human rights issues should be directly addressed with the administration and with Saudi officials", McConnell said from the Senate floor. "The Saudi-led war in Yemen has caused 85,000 children to starve to death".

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The resolution cites the War Powers Act of 1973 and argues that the US military involvement in assisting the Saudi Arabia-led coalition fighting in Yemen falls under this act. "We must end the war in Yemen".

The Senate passed a similar resolution past year in the wake of the Khashoggi murder, but it did not receive a vote in the GOP-led House.

Opponents argued that the War Powers Resolution does not apply because the U.S.is not directly involved in combat in Yemen. Although Congress doesn't have a veto-proof majority, Sanders capitalized on the anti-Saudi sentiment sweeping Capitol Hill to secure seven Republican votes for his resolution.

By cancelling the blank check in Yemen, Congress now has momentum to finally repeal the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), which authorized the US invasion of Afghanistan but has been used since to justify subsequent and unrelated wars. Five years of fighting has resulted in a devastating humanitarian crisis in the country.

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


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