Senate Votes to Kill Bill Challenging Legality of Yemen War


Senate Votes to Kill Bill Challenging Legality of Yemen War

The move came after President Donald Trump met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the White House earlier in the day. Sanders, along with Sens.

And as the battle grinds on, the United States has chosen to maintain its military support for the Saudi coalition - despite a rising tide of opposition to the war by US lawmakers and increasingly dire warnings about its toll on civilians.

"The current administration has continued Obama's war", Republican Senator Mike Lee said on the Senate floor.

The United States Senate on Tuesday sided with President Donald Trump and rejected an effort to force him to end the USA military's support for Saudi Arabia's bombing operations in Yemen. That the USA involvement was never authorized by Congress was another big issue, though this was the first attempt by the Senate to actually challenge a conflict over War Powers Act violations.

The Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, had urged lawmakers to abandon the effort, calling it "bad policy" and "procedurally mistaken".

The Saudi-led military coalition has enjoyed logistic and intelligence support from the United Kingdom and the US.

But Senate leaders along with Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Corker opposed the proposal because it would damage the USA partnership with the Saudis.

Because of the timing, McConnell and other Republican leaders in the Senate are trying to postpone the resolution until after bin Salman's visit by sending it to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The war has turned into one of the world's worst humanitarian crises since the Saudi-led coalition began airstrikes -more than 10,000 people have been killed and millions more are at risk of widespread starvation and disease.

McConnell added that USA intelligence provides the Saudis "greater precision in their air campaign", resulting in fewer civilian casualties.

The US has provided weapons, intelligence and aerial refueling to the Saudi-led coalition supporting Yemen's government against Iran-backed rebels. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis warned lawmakers earlier in March that cutting USA military assistance would risk Washington's relationship with Riyadh and embolden Iran.

Mr Mattis' letter first reported by the Washington Post cautioned that the resolution if passed "could increase civilian casualties, jeopardise cooperation with our partners on counterterrorism, and reduce our influence with the Saudis - all of which would further exacerbate the situation and humanitarian crisis".

A Gulf dispute pitting some Arab countries including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates against Qatar will also likely be brought up at the Trump meeting.

The bipartisan resolution was the latest congressional attempt to check the presidential exercise of military force overseas.