The Senate has rightly voted to end U.S. involvement in Saudi Arabia's war on Yemen, and the House should follow suit.
The conflict is being fought largely along sectarian religious lines, and U.S. participation in the warfare is exacerbating these fissures. Saudi Arabia is a fundamentalist Sunni Muslim theocracy combating a Shiite minority in Yemen, the Houthis (an ugly faction itself motivated largely by religion), as part of a larger crusade against Shiite Iran.
Innocent Yemenis are being crushed in this religious warfare. The war has triggered a devastating humanitarian crisis, with numerous civilians killed and starvation and cholera rampant among the country’s nearly 30 million citizens.
The U.S. shares intelligence and sells arms to Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners so that they can continue to wage this holy war. This coalition has been responsible for a large portion of the suffering in Yemen.
“As the leader of the coalition that began military operations against Houthi forces in Yemen on March 26, 2015, Saudi Arabia has committed numerous violations of international humanitarian law,” Human Rights Watch stated in a 2018 report. “As of August, at least 6,592 civilians had been killed and 10,471 wounded, according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), although the actual civilian casualty count is likely much higher. The majority of these casualties were a result of coalition air strikes.”
Following the brutal murder of U.S. resident and Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the Senate previously voted last December to end U.S. support for the Saudi war in Yemen. Then-Speaker of the House Paul Ryan refused to let the resolution come up for a House vote last session. But earlier this year, the House voted to end military assistance for Saudi Arabia’s war.
Unfortunately, President Trump is expected to veto any resolution against this conflict. The conflict in Yemen will continue to exact its human toll — until the United States and its ally Saudi Arabia can be persuaded to see reason.
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