Trump vetoes bill to end US involvement in Yemen civil war

President Donald Trump said the resolution was unnecessary

President Donald Trump said the resolution was unnecessary

"This resolution is an unnecessary, unsafe attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities, endangering the lives of American citizens and courageous service members, both today and in the future", Trump wrote to the Senate Thursday.

The president said US forces are not engaged in hostilities "in or affecting Yemen" apart from counterterrorism operations against al Qaeda in the Arabian peninsula and the Islamic State.

Trump added that the resolution is "unnecessary" in part because there are no United States military personnel in Yemen "commanding, participating in, or accompanying military forces of the Saudi-led coalition against the Houthis in hostilities in or affecting Yemen". The votes marked the first time both chambers approved using the war-powers resolution to withdraw the USA military out of an overseas conflict. Lawmakers, who are increasingly uneasy about the administration's alliance with Saudi Arabia, lack the votes to override the veto.

He said there were no USA military personnel in Yemen accompanying the Saudi-led coalition fighting Iran-backed Houthis, although he acknowledged that the US has provided limited support to the coalition, including intelligence sharing, logistics support, and - until recently - in-flight refueling of non-U.S. aircraft.

Alarmed by the rise of a group they believed to be backed militarily by regional Shia power Iran, Saudi Arabia and eight other mostly Sunni Arab states began an air campaign aimed at restoring Mr Hadi's government. McCaul said it was an abuse of the War Powers Resolution and predicted it could disrupt United States security cooperation agreements with more than 100 countries.

He also claimed that USA support was needed to "protect the safety of the more than 80,000 Americans who reside in certain coalition countries that have been subject to Houthi attacks from Yemen", referring to the Iran-aligned forces in the country.

They also argued that USA involvement in Yemen violated the constitutional requirement that Congress, not the president, should determine when the country goes to war.

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Supporters of the War Powers Resolution argued the USA shouldn't be involved in the war without explicit permission from Congress. Opponents argued the USA does not have "boots on the ground" and is offering noncombat technical assistance to Saudi Arabia, an ally.

President Trump reiterated his support for ending America's endless wars. "The Congress should not seek to prohibit certain tactical operations, such as in-flight refueling, or require military engagements to adhere to arbitrary timelines".

"This conflict must end, now".

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement that the veto was "part of an alarming pattern of Trump turning a blind eye to Saudi Arabia's actions that fly in the face of American values" and accused the administration of "deference to Saudi Arabia at the expense of American security interests".

Chances of that are slim.

The House of Representatives passed the resolution to end military support in a 247-175 vote this month after the Senate approved it last month, by 54 to 46, with the backing of seven Republicans.

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