The Trump administration threatened on Monday to veto an effort in the US Congress to end US military support for the Saudi-led coalition in the war in Yemen, continuing a standoff with lawmakers over policy toward the kingdom.
The administration said the resolution was inappropriate because US forces had provided aircraft refueling and other support in the Yemen conflict, not combat troops. It also said the measure would harm relationships in the region and hurt the US’s ability to prevent the spread of violent extremism.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Adel al-Jubeir, said: “I find it very strange that members of Congress would try to curtail allies like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates in trying to push back against terrorist organizations supported by Iran and Hezbollah”.
“So basically what this legislation is doing is its providing ammunition to the ‘Death to America’ crowd,” al-Jubeir told CBS News’ Face the Nation program on Sunday.
The White House has angered many members of Congress, including some of President Donald Trump’s fellow Republicans, by failing to provide a report by a Friday deadline on the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.
The United States has supported the Saudi-led air campaign with mid-air refueling support, intelligence and targeting assistance. Democrats view the war powers resolution as a way to assert Congress’ constitutional right to authorize the use of military force in foreign conflicts.
The Republican-controlled US Senate passed the war powers resolution in December, the first time such a resolution had passed even one house of Congress. But Republicans, who then controlled the House, did not allow a vote in the lower chamber.
After sweeping election victories, Democrats now have a House majority. They intend to take up the resolution this week. However, it would struggle to garner the two-thirds majorities needed in both the House and Senate to overcome a Trump veto.
(With Reuters inputs)