Senate advances Sanders-backed resolution to withdraw support for Yemen war

Friday, 30 Nov, 2018

Leading Democratic senators said the intelligence they had seen convinced them of the Crown Prince's role in the murder of Khashoggi, a Washington Post journalist and U.S. resident. On Wednesday, the Senate voted 63 to 37 to advance a bipartisan resolution on halting usa support for Saudi forces in Yemen.

The horrific war in Yemen has been raging for three years, so why is it only now that lawmakers are sharing heartbreaking photographs of starving Yemeni children on the Senate floor?

Pompeo warned lawmakers that ending USA backing would lead to a stronger Iran, while reinvigorating both the Islamic State group and Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. "Try defending that outcome back home".

- The Saudi Crown Prince arrived in Buenos Aires to join a Group of 20 summit, shrugging off the lingering stigma of journalist Jamal Khashoggi's murder. Pompeo did not mention Khashoggi in his prepared remarks to senators. "There's a long and standing precedent for us taking these actions, and that's why we thought it necessary for us to do so". "Saudi Arabia, due to geography and the Iranian threat, is fundamental to maintaining regional and Israeli security, and to our interest in Mideast stability".

Turkey has rigorously investigated the Khashoggi slaying, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly claimed that the journalist's killing was premeditated and ordered by top officials, though he has declined to name the crown prince specifically.

The bill forces the Trump administration to withdraw military support for the Saudi coalition or seek authorization from Congress to re-deploy United States military support for the coalition. This is the kind of behavior we expect from Russian Federation and North Korea. But extended debate could serve as a powerful symbolic step - and allow lawmakers to address alternative paths in US-Saudi relations.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham demanded the Central Intelligence Agency brief Senators on its assessment of the role of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Mr Khashoggi's murder. The White House issued a statement Wednesday afternoon indicating that President Donald Trump would veto the bill if it were approved by Congress.

Trump on Tuesday threatened to cancel his planned talks with Putin at the G20 summit, but the Kremlin said it still expected the encounter to go ahead.

Trump has dismissed the CIA's assessment as inconclusive "feelings" - prompting backlash from the Republicans' most senior ranks. "And in terms of our review of our own arms exports to Saudi Arabia", she said. The federal government will shut down if a new spending bill isn't approved by December 7.

In the face of that, Congress is set to vote on a war powers resolution this week, which would withdraw US support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, and is considering sanctions or other penalties for the kingdom.

Senators are also scheduled to vote on the controversial nomination of Thomas Farr for a North Carolina judicial seat.

Why didn't Haspel attend the briefing?

CIA Director Gina Haspel, who traveled to Turkey as part of the investigation, was absent from the meeting.

"We have got to make the decision as to what happens in the war in Yemen and our role in that, and that's what the vote today is about", stated Sanders.

Pompeo said the United States would provide an additional $131 million for food aide in Yemen.

Coons called Haspel's absence "very unusual".

Graham says he will not support that resolution.

Corker said the resolution was the only means available to address an imbalance in the Trump administration's and Riyadh's handling of Khashoggi's murder, if not the relationship overall.