United States lawmakers are seeking to end U.S. military support for the Saudi-led coalition against members of the Houthi rebel group in Yemen. A draft of the resolution pushed by Senators Bernie Sanders, Mike Lee, and Chris Murphy was released on Wednesday.
According to the United Nations, more than 10,000 people have died in the war in Yemen with a cholera outbreak enabled by the Saudi-led coalition blockade claiming over 2,000 lives.
In Mach 2015, a Saudi-led coalition began a series of airstrikes against the Houthis militia to reinstate President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi's government after the Houthis took over most of the country. The alliance is accused of crimes against humanity by the U.N. for targeting civilians in schools, local markets, wedding parties and even hospitals, includes Jordan and Egypt and receives support from the U.S. and the United Kingdom.
At a news conference on Wednesday, Sanders argued: “We believe that, as Congress has not declared war or authorized military force in this conflict, the U.S. involvement in Yemen is unconstitutional and unauthorized.”
The resolution is also shedding light on U.S. involvement and complicity in creating the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
The U.S. has sold billions of dollars in weapons to Saudi Arabia and coalition members, refusing to heed calls for a weapons embargo on Saudi Arabia. The U.S. government has also assisted Saudi-led coalition forces with refueling, enabling and actively supporting one side of the conflict.
To stop this, the three senators introduced a joint resolution to reassert Congress’ role in approving the country’s involvement in the war, established in the War Powers Act of 1973. Via Twitter Sanders criticized U.S. conformity with its government’s interventionist policies and stated: “the time is long overdue for Congress to reassert its constitutional role in determining when and where our country goes to war.”
In November 2017 a similar resolution sponsored by Congressman Ro Khanna was passed. The resolution acknowledged Congress had not authorised the use of military force in Yemen, but it failed to withdraw funding and to proceed to a vote on U.S. ongoing military intervention in Yemen.
The current resolution will force a vote on whether the U.S. should continue to support Saudi Arabia.
Other western countries have decided to stop their complicity in the war.
On January 2018, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel announced they will stop all arms exports to countries involved in the ongoing war in Yemen, and Norway suspended exports of weapons and ammunition to the United Arab Emirates over concerns they could be used in the war in Yemen.