Wednesday, July 15, 2020

US Congress decides to end military aid in Yemen

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Zubair Yaqoob
Zubair Yaqoob
The author has diversified experience in investigative journalism. He is Chief content editor at wnobserver.com He can be reached at: [email protected]

The American Congress wants to end support for the Saudi-led military operation in Yemen. After the Senate on Thursday also the House of Representatives voted in favor of a majority resolution, with the President Donald Trump instructed to withdraw all forces in support of the controversial operation within 30 days. Trump, on the other hand, can veto – it would be the second of his terms. In order to overrule this veto, a two-thirds majority would be required in both congressional chambers, which is unlikely to be achieved.

America supports the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen with, for example, intelligence information for identifying target data. Congress condemns its decision to deploy American forces under the operation without parliamentary approval. The resolution also expressly prohibits the refueling of non-US aircraft flying for the coalition in Yemen. The United States had already stopped this practice last autumn. Furthermore, the decision allowed military operations against the terrorist network Al-Qaeda,

In Yemen, Houthi rebels have been fighting against supporters of the internationally recognized government for more than four years. Their troops are supported by the Saudi-led coalition with air strikes. The Sunni royal house in Saudi Arabia sees the rebels as a close ally of its archenemy, Shiite Iran. Saudi Arabia is accused of not paying enough attention to the protection of civilians in the military attacks.

Trump’s second veto?

The resolution now goes to the president, who can veto it. Nevertheless, the decision is a clear political signal from Parliament against Trump’s support for Saudi Arabia. American support for the coalition in Yemen is also controversial among Trump’s Republicans, who have a majority in the Senate. Seven Republican Senators voted with the Democrats last month to secure the necessary majority.

The House of Representatives is dominated by the Democrats. Again, more than a dozen Republicans voted with the Democrats. However, the resolution did not receive a two-thirds majority in either of the two chambers. Therefore, it is unlikely that the Congress would override a presidential veto.

Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo had already criticized after the Senate vote last month that ending support for the operation was not the right way to make any difference to the severe humanitarian crisis in Yemen. Instead, the coalition must be given the necessary support to defeat the Iran-backed rebels and bring peace to Yemen.

Trump had the first veto of his term in office last month. By doing so, the President had prevented the congressional lifting of the state of emergency on the border with Mexico. With the help of the declaration of emergency, the Republican president wants to ensure the financing of the wall he demands on the border with Mexico without parliamentary approval. The Democrats had failed to override this veto.

Zubair Yaqoob
Zubair Yaqoob
The author has diversified experience in investigative journalism. He is Chief content editor at wnobserver.com He can be reached at: [email protected]

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