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2 May, 2019 19:01

Senate votes to uphold Trump veto on ending US support for Saudi-led war in Yemen

Senate votes to uphold Trump veto on ending US support for Saudi-led war in Yemen

The US Senate has failed to override US President Donald Trump’s veto of a resolution which would have ended Washington’s military support for the Saudi Arabia-led coalition, which has been bombing Yemen for four years.

The vote to uphold the veto is a victory for the Trump administration which has said it will continue backing Riyadh in the military operation which has led to thousands of deaths and brought millions of Yemenis to the brink of famine.

The Senate passed the Yemen War Powers resolution in March with a vote of 54-46, but the Thursday vote fell short of the two-thirds majority (67) that was needed to override Trump’s veto and force a change in US policy.

Also on rt.com Trump vetoes congressional resolution to end US support of Saudi-led Yemen war

Trump vetoed the resolution in mid-April after it had been passed by both the House and Senate, calling it “unnecessary” and “dangerous” and claimed the US was “not engaged in hostilities in or affecting Yemen,” despite the fact that US support has been crucial for Saudi Arabia to maintain its military campaign in the war-torn country.

Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel said in April that Congress would no longer “ignore its constitutional obligations when it comes to foreign policy” and that the situation in Yemen “demands moral leadership” — but Trump’s veto was expected and the resolution was never really expected to have an effect.

Saudi-led coalition forces have been accused of deliberately targeting hospitals and other civilian infrastructure in its bid to oust Houthi rebels controlling the capital city of Sanaa and who they say are proxies of Iran.

Speaking before the vote, Democratic Senator Chris Murphy said that so long as the US participates in the military campaign while not helping to achieve a political settlement, it is “complicit” in the deaths that have and will continue to result "from starvation and disease and malnutrition.”

Also on rt.com Devastating footage of starving 12yo girl weighing just 10 kg captures Yemen war horror

On the Senate floor, presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders said the US was supporting a “catastrophic war” which was being “led by a despotic regime with a dangerous and irresponsible foreign policy.”

The move to show dissatisfaction with Trump’s friendliness toward Saudi Arabia and to end US support for the war in Yemen gained momentum after the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last October, which served to highlight Riyadh’s human rights abuses.

But the Trump administration has steadfastly refused to take any harder line against Riyadh and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo maintained that passing legislation to block US military support for the war would not help Yemenis, but “work to their detriment.”

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