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Senate Votes to End US Support in Yemen

111th US Senate
Credit: Flickr Creative Commons

In spite of threats from Donald Trump to veto the measure, the Senate passed a resolution to withdraw U.S. support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen on Thursday.

The Senate, upset about the killing of U.S. journalist Jamal Khashoggi passed the bipartisan measure 56-41. The resolution was sponsored by Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) and withdraws U.S. military support from a conflict that has pushed millions in Yemen to near-starvation and has killed tens of thousands. It also forbids U.S. refueling of Saudi planes. Both Senator Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy voted against the measure.

A Saudi-led coalition has been fighting against Iran-led Houthi militants in a conflict that has roots dating back to the Arab Spring of 2001.

While the vote sends a strong message to the Trump administration, it’s unlikely that it will result in any changes in official U.S. policy until at least January. In the House, Republican leaders stopped an effort to bring a similar resolution to a vote on Wednesday.

In addition to pulling support for the Saudi’s efforts in Yemen, the Senate also unanimously passed a resolution condemning the killing of Mr. Khashoggi, and directly connecting the murder to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

In a statement, Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) said, “It’s a strong statement of our condemnation of what has happened. To me, that’s important even if it doesn’t affect policy.”

In addition to the two resolutions passed today, the Senate is also reviewing a bill introduced by Sens. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Todd Young (R-IN) that would sanction anyone who blocked humanitarian access in Yemen, anyone aiding Houthi rebels in Yemen, as well as suspending U.S. weapons sales in Saudi Arabia and sanction those responsible for Mr. Khashoggi’s murder.

Jenn Bentley is a writer and editor originally from Cadiz, Kentucky. Her writing has been featured in publications such as The Examiner, The High Tech Society, FansShare, Yahoo News, and others. When she’s not writing or editing, Jenn spends her time raising money for Extra Life and advocating for autism awareness.

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