President Donald Trump has vetoed a congressional resolution that sought to end US involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen, the White House said.
“This resolution is an unnecessary, dangerous attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities, endangering the lives of American citizens and brave service members, both today and in the future,” Trump said in the veto message.
The resolution, which had passed the House of Representatives and Senate, sought to end US military involvement in the war in Yemen that had not received prior authorisation from Congress.
That restriction falls under the US War Powers Act of 1973, which seeks to rein in where and when US forces are involved in military conflicts.
Neither the 247-175 tally in the Democratic-majority House nor the 54-46 vote in the Republican-led Senate would be enough to override the veto, which would require two-thirds majorities in both chambers.
Trump has repeatedly threatened to veto the resolution in the past, calling it “flawed” legislation.
US Senator Bernie Sanders, a Democratic presidential candidate who championed the legislation, said he was “disappointed, but not surprised” by Trump’s veto.
Representative Ro Khanna, a Democratic congressman and another proponent of the resolution, also expressed disappointment.
“From a president elected on the promise of putting a stop to our endless wars, this veto is a painful missed opportunity,” he said.
However, the United Arab Emirates, which is part of the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen, praised Trump’s decision.
“President Trump’s assertion of support to the Arab Coalition in Yemen is a positive signal,” UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said on Twitter early on Wednesday.
Other backers of the measure said the Saudi-led bombing campaign in Yemen has worsened the humanitarian crisis there, harshly criticising Riyadh for killing civilians.
The conflict has left tens of thousands of people dead, caused outbreaks of preventable diseases and brought the already impoverished country to the verge of famine.
The US military provides intelligence and logistics support to Saudi forces, and up until recently, it was also assisting with mid-air refuelling of Saudi jets.
Saudi Arabia launched the military campaign in Yemen in 2015 to root out the country’s Houthi rebels, who had taken over the capital, Sanaa, and ousted the internationally recognised and Saudi-backed government of President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi.
Experts say that without US backing, Saudi Arabia would be forced to end its war effort in Yemen.[source: Middle East Eye]
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