Trump vetoes Congress bill ending support for Saudi-led war in Yemen

 US president struck down measure passed by Senate last month

Andrew Buncombe
Tuesday 16 April 2019 20:53
Video shows damaged buildings and homes in Yemen village hit by Saudi-led coalition airstrikes

Donald Trump has used his veto power to block a bill that would have ended US support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

Issuing just his second presidential veto since entering the White House, Mr Trump struck down a measure that had been passed by the Senate last month, and a version which had been given the green light by the House of Representatives two weeks ago.

“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,” Mr Trump said in a statement to the Senate, that was released by the White House.

The United Nations estimated last year that 6,872 civilians had been killed and 10,768 wounded, the majority in Saudi-led air strikes, since the military operation against Houthi rebels began in March 2015.

Thousands of others have died from diseases such as cholera, which have taken grip as the nation’s already feeble infrastructure has been weakened as a result of the conflict.

The operation against the rebels has included the militaries of Saudi Arabia Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain. Qatar ended its involvement in 2017.

The US has been providing crucial in-flight refuelling services to the coalition’s jets, along with logical and targeting help.

The UK has provided training and intelligence support, along with the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia, despite calls from activist and some politicians to prohibit them.

Yemeni mother Shaima Swileh arrives at San Francisco International Airport to see dying son for last time

The vote earlier this year by Congress, was the first time a decades-old war powers resolution had been invoked to try to stop a president involving the nation in a conflict without the authorisation of legislators.

It marked a major rejection of the president’s unquestioning support for the kingdom, especially following the murder last October of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Now Mr Trump had vetoed the bill, it will up to congressional leaders to determine whether they have the two-thirds majority in both chambers to overturn the president’s actions.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments