Trump Vetoes 'Unnecessary' Bill to End American Involvement in Yemen Civil War

Erika Holt
April 17, 2019

President Trump has vetoed a bill Congress passed to end US military assistance in the Saudi Arabia-led war in Yemen.

President Donald Trump shows a chart highlighting arms sales to Saudi Arabia during a meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on March 20, 2018.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not responded to questions on whether she intends to seek a vote to override the President's veto.

The War Powers Resolution to end usa involvement in Yemen has nothing to do with weakening Trump's constitutional authorities.

In vetoing the resolution, Trump lashed out at Congress for passing it. The president has strongly backed Saudi Arabia, even after the killing of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and after United States intelligence agencies determined that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was complicit in the murder.

"This resolution is an unnecessary, unsafe attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities, endangering the lives of American citizens and fearless service members, both today and in the future", Mr. Trump wrote in explaining his veto. "Peace in Yemen requires a negotiated settlement".

Trump said the measure was unnecessary because except for counterterrorism operations against Islamic State militants and al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, the United States is not engaged in hostilities in or affecting Yemen.

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Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), who helped lead the House effort to end US military involvement in Yemen, denounced Trump's veto on Twitter. The decision is both "timely and strategic" he added.

Trump's veto was immediately praised by Anwar Gargash, foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a key Saudi ally in the years-long assault on Yemen.

He stated continued involvement was also necessary to 'protect the safety of the more than 80,000 Americans who reside in certain coalition countries'. Members of Congress have expressed concern about the thousands of civilians killed in coalition airstrikes since the conflict began in 2014.

At the same time, Trump continues to want to keep strong ties with Saudi Arabia and does not share the view of Congress that the kingdom needs to be punished for the killing of Khashoggi, aides said.

International Rescue Committee president and CEO David Miliband said that vetoing the measure represents an "effective green light for the war strategy that has created the world's worst humanitarian crisis to continue". The conflict has killed tens of thousands of people, fueled a major cholera outbreak and driven the Arab world's poorest country to the brink of starvation.

"Yemen is at a breaking point with 10 million people on the brink of starvation".

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