Measure to End US Support for Saudi-Led War in Yemen Passes First Senate Hurdle

Measure to End US Support for Saudi-Led War in Yemen Passes First Senate Hurdle

Agency News

Washington, Nov 29 : Lawmakers voted to force a showdown with President Donald Trump over continued US support for the Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen by forcing the entire Senate to vote on legislation that would limit American military targets to al Qaeda and possibly Islamic State (both banned in Russia) terrorist forces in Yemen.

On a 63-37 vote under arcane Senate rules, senators approved a "discharge petition" that forces the legislation - known as a joint resolution - directly to the Senate floor for debate and a final vote as early as next week.

"This joint resolution directs the President to remove US armed forces from hostilities in or affecting Yemen, except those engaged in operations directed at al Qaeda, within 30 days unless: (1) the President requests and Congress authorizes a later date, or (2) a declaration of war or specific authorization for the use of the Armed Forces has been enacted, according to a summary on the Senate website," the text of the legislation says.

Some lawmakers during a debate prior to the vote indicated that the US war against the Islamic State could also continue.

In March, the Senate rejected an initial attempt to force consideration of the measure. However, the tide appeared to shift due to the October 2 murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

"The circumstances have only further deterioriated," Republican Senator Mike Lee said. "Intelligence suggests that despite his repeated denials, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia himself ordered the murder. This is not an ally that deserves our support or military intervention on its behalf."

Earlier on Wednesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense James Mattis unsuccessfully lobbied senators to reject the motion.

In the 100-member Senate, a super-majority of 67 votes would be required to override a presidential veto. (UNI-Sputnik)