An international charity said President Donald Trump's veto of a congressional resolution to end U.S. military assistance for Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen "will only mean more suffering and death."
The Norwegian Refugee Council said yesterday that if Trump "was truly concerned about civilian life," he would "ensure that the U.S.-supported Saudi-led coalition stop breaking the laws of war and depriving millions of Yemenis of life-saving assistance." It said the U.S. is "deepening and prolonging" the crisis and "civilians are paying the price."
The U.S. is, by far, the largest supplier of weapons to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and its support for the coalition has been crucial to the war in Yemen. According to the U.S. Department of Defense, transferring military equipment to third parties breaks the terms of the Saudi-led coalition's arms deal with the U.S.
Earlier this month, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to end American involvement in the Yemen war, rebuffing the Trump administration's support for the military campaign led by Saudi Arabia as Congress for the first time invoked the War Powers Resolution to try and stop a foreign conflict. American lawmakers, angered by the Oct. 2 assassination and dismemberment of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, have pushed to withdraw U.S. support.
UAE hails Trump's Yemen veto
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) yesterday hailed as "strategic" President Trump's veto of a resolution from Congress directing him to end U.S. support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen. "President Trump's assertion of support to the Arab Coalition in Yemen is a positive signal of U.S. resolve towards America's allies," UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash tweeted. "President Trump's important decision is both timely & strategic," said Gargash, whose government is a key Saudi ally in the war.
The UAE entered Yemen's war in March 2015 alongside Saudi Arabia to back Yemen's internationally recognized government, which the Houthis had pushed out of the capital, Sanaa.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the former Saudi defense minister and Saudi Arabia's allies launched Operation Decisive Storm in March 2015. The UAE has largely handled ground operations in the conflict while the Saudis have bombed from the air. The ongoing war has resulted in the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, with an estimated 24 million people, close to 80 percent of the population, in need of assistance and protection in Yemen, according to the U.N. Many atrocities have been reported so far, which reveals multiple violations of human rights. Saudi airstrikes have hit markets and hospitals, killing civilians. The coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE has been using weapons produced in Europe and the U.S. to kill and wound hundreds of civilians in Yemen.
In a latest report, it is noted that French weapons have potentially been used by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen's war. A French investigative website claimed that weapons made in France "may have been used to commit war crimes" in Yemen by Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The claim was based on a classified report from France's military intelligence service saying that French-made weapons, including artillery, tanks, ships and fighter-bomber jets might have been involved in these crimes. Reacting to the report, Amnesty International urged France "to immediately suspend all arms transfers that could be used by any of the warring parties in Yemen – once and for all."
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