Trump vetoes bill to end support for Saudi-led war in Yemen

War in Yemen AHMAD AL-BASHA AFPGetty Images

Dr Anwar Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, responded to US President Donald Trump's veto of a Congress resolution to end American involvement in the Yemen war on Wednesday, calling it a "positive signal" of US support for its allies.

Senator Bernie Sanders, who sponsored the bill in the Senate, said: "I am disappointed, but not surprised, that Trump has rejected the bipartisan resolution to end United States involvement in the horrific war in Yemen".

"This resolution is an unnecessary, unsafe attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities, endangering the lives of American citizens and fearless service members, both today and in the future", he said in a veto message.

In his statement announcing the veto, Trump defended the US involvement, arguing that "it is our duty to protect the safety of the more than 80,000 Americans who reside in certain coalition countries that have been subject to Houthi attacks from Yemen".

No one was surprised by the veto - had Trump wanted to comply with the resolution, he could have withdrawn support to Saudi Arabia at any time.

Iran-backed Houthi rebels have been accused of acts that could amount to war crimes and regularly fire drones at Saudi cities.

Mr Trump described the resolution as an "unnecessary" and "dangerous" attempt to weaken his constitutional powers.

The Senate voted 54-46 in favor for the resolution while the House of Representatives voted 247-175. And as American weapons and technology have aided the war effort, thousands of Yemeni civilians have been killed in air strikes, though the administration says it is working to reduce unintended casualties. The fighting in the Arab world's poorest country also has left millions suffering from food and medical care shortages and has pushed the country to the brink of starvation.

The move marked the second time that Trump has used his veto power to reject a bill from the legislature.

He said there were no United States military personnel in Yemen accompanying the Saudi-led coalition fighting Iran-backed Houthis, although he acknowledged that the USA has provided limited support to the coalition, including intelligence sharing, logistics support, and - until recently - in-flight refueling of non-US aircraft. Mike Lee, R-Utah, tweeted: "The people of Yemen desperately need humanitarian help, not more bombs".

"The conflict in Yemen is a horrific humanitarian crisis that challenges the conscience of the entire world". It also represented the latest instance of Congress's challenging Trump's decisions as commander in chief.

Just last month he overrode a congressional resolution that aimed to reverse the national emergency he declared in order to obtain funding for wall at the Mexican border.



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