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Iran Press TV

House passes resolution to end US aid for Saudi war on Yemen

Iran Press TV

Thu Feb 14, 2019 03:33AM

The US House of Representatives on Wednesday adopted a resolution that obliges President Donald Trump to end Washington's military support for the Saudi-led coalition's war on Yemen, and withdraw almost all US forces engaged in the war in less than a month.

The resolution was passed 248-177, with one voting present.

The resolution directs the president to remove any US armed forces that are affecting the war with Yemen, with the exception of forces purportedly fighting Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, in less than 30 days after the resolution is enacted.

It's expected at some point that the Senate will take up the resolution, but it's not clear when.

On the overall issue of US military support for the war in Yemen, the Republican-controlled Senate passed similar legislation in December, but it was not taken up by the Republican-controlled House. Democrats, who now hold the majority in the House, have made the legislation a priority.

Critics say the US is not directly involved in the hostilities in Yemen, and the resolution could be used to tie the government's hands in other hostile areas.

Rep. Michael McCaul, the top Republican on the Foreign Affairs Committee, argued that US forces are not engaged in the hostilities in Yemen and the resolution reinterprets US military assistance for Saudi Arabia as support for Riyadh's actions in Yemen.

"This resolution is directing us to remove troops that simply... are not there," McCaul said on the floor.

House Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel, however, argues the resolution is tailored specifically to address the situation in Yemen and would have no effect on other conflicts.

"This is not a broad, blanket policy," he said on the House floor.

While the US last year announced the end of its practice of aerial refueling of Saudi and Emirati jets, it has continued to share intelligence with Saudis in their brutal war against the impoverished nation.

A top US military commander in the Middle East suggested earlier this month that the US would continue to back its allies waging war in Yemen, despite new evidence of arms deal violations recently uncovered.

A report by CNN revealed last month that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates had transferred US-made weapons to al Qaeda-linked militants, extremist militias and other groups on the ground.

Saudi Arabia and its allies launched a brutal war, code-named Operation Decisive Storm, against Yemen in March 2015 in an attempt to reinstall former Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh, and crush the Houthis.

The offensive initially consisted of a bombing campaign but was later coupled with a naval blockade and the deployment of ground forces to Yemen.

The imposed war, however, has so far failed to achieve its goals, thanks to stiff resistance from Yemeni troops and allied Houthi fighters.

The war has taken a heavy toll on the country's infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN has already said that a record 22.2 million Yemenis are in dire need of food, including 8.4 million threatened by severe hunger. According to the world body, Yemen is suffering from the most severe famine in more than 100 years.

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