Moscow, Apr 17: The policy director of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), Ole Solvang, slammed on Wednesday US President Donald Trump's decision to veto the US Congress' resolution that sought to end Washington's support for the Saudi-led coalition engaged in the Yemeni conflict, suggesting that Trump would not have done this if he was truly concerned about the fate of Yemeni civilians.
Trump said late on Tuesday in his letter to the Senate that he rejected the resolution, which the US House of Representatives passed on April 5 after the Senate approved it in March. The US president claimed that the resolution was an "unnecessary" and "dangerous" attempt to weaken his constitutional authorities. He also said that Washington had to continue supporting the Saudi-led coalition in order to counter alleged threat from Iran, which backs the other side to the Yemeni conflict, to the United States and its ally Saudi Arabia, also stressing that the measure would affect the fight against terrorist organizations operating in the region.
"President Trump said that withdrawing from the war in Yemen would 'negatively affect ongoing efforts to prevent civilian casualties.' Yet if he was truly concerned about civilian life, he would first and foremost ensure that the US-supported Saudi-led coalition stop breaking the laws of war and depriving millions of Yemenis of life-saving assistance," Solvang said in a statement, quoted on the NRC website.
While "tens of thousands" of Yemeni civilians have been killed or injured in attacks, including those conducted with US weapons, Washington has "demonstrated little commitment to accountability," Solvang stated.
"By providing such extensive military and diplomatic support for one side of the conflict, the United States is deepening and prolonging a crisis that has immediate and severe consequences for Yemen, and civilians are paying the price," Solvang concluded.
Yemen has been long engulfed in a violent conflict between the government, headed by President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, and the rebel Houthi movement. The Saudi-led coalition, supported by the United States, has been carrying out airstrikes against the Houthis at Hadi's request since March 2015.