Lawmakers direct Trump to curb US military support for Saudi-led bombing campaign in Yemen

A Marine Corps KC-130T deploys a high-speed drogue during an aerial refueling mission at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, June 16, 2018. (U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Ernesto G. Rojascorrea)

WASHINGTON — The House voted to direct President Donald Trump to withdraw U.S. forces from the Saudi-led conflict in Yemen as part of an effort to step up oversight of foreign policy following lawmakers' criticism of the president's moves on Saudi Arabia, Syria and Afghanistan.

The resolution, passed Wednesday on a 248-177 vote, would require the president to remove U.S. armed forces from hostilities "in or affecting" Yemen within 30 days of enactment unless authorized by Congress. The Republican-controlled Senate passed a similar measure late last year following the killing of columnist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

Sen. Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat and member of the Foreign Relations Committee, predicted Tuesday that the House measure will also pass the Senate and head to the president's desk. The administration has said Trump will veto it. The administration said Monday that the U.S. has provided limited support to Saudi-led forces but hasn't been involved in hostilities.

The House effort is separate from a more comprehensive proposal offered by a bipartisan group of senators last week. That legislation calls for new sanctions and would prohibit some arms sales to Saudi Arabia, the largest purchaser of U.S. weapons.

House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern, a Massachusetts Democrat, said the intention is to keep pressure on the administration.

"This is a signal to the administration and to the Saudi government that when it comes to human rights there are people in this Congress, hopefully a bipartisan group of people in this Congress, who will not be silent, who want things to change," McGovern said before the vote.

The House was under Republican control last year and didn't take up the Senate-passed Yemen resolution. The new measure was introduced by California Democrat Ro Khanna, who said in a statement, "More than 14 million Yemenis — half the country — are on the brink of famine, and at least 85,000 children have already died from hunger and disease as a result of the war."

Trump's moves in the Middle East have been criticized by Democrats and a number of Republicans. Some prominent Senate Republicans, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have expressed reservations about the president's statement that he would begin withdrawing troops from Syria and Afghanistan.

Last week, a few hours before Trump delivered his State of the Union address, the Senate voted overwhelmingly to require the president to impose new sanctions on entities doing business with the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad. The legislation included an amendment sponsored by McConnell that urges Trump not to exit the military conflicts in Syria and Afghanistan.

In addition, Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, said the Trump administration missed a Feb. 8 deadline to respond to senators' request to determine whether Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was responsible for the murder of Khashoggi. A measure known as the Magnitsky Act allows senators to seek such a determination.

Republican Sen. Jim Risch of Idaho, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters Tuesday that the administration did meet the deadline with a response from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. "Briefings are going to continue; this is a work in progress," Risch said.

"I personally believe that it's clear that the crown prince either ordered the murder of Mr. Khashoggi or, at a minimum, agreed to it and was involved in it," said GOP Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said, "I've made up my mind, I've introduced legislation with Sen. Menendez declaring MBS personally responsible."

Before passing the Yemen resolution, House members voted 424-0 to add a Republican-sponsored amendment opposing anti-Semitism, an implied rebuke of freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Minnesota Democrat. She apologized this week under pressure from Speaker Nancy Pelosi for making comments viewed as anti-Semitic. Omar voted for the amendment.


©2019 Bloomberg News. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

SEE ALSO: Six Airmen Awarded Distinguished Flying Cross For Playing Critical Role In 2017 Yemen Raid

WATCH NEXT: Yemen Patriot Missile Intercept Over Saudi Arabia

New London — Retired four-star general John Kelly said that as President Donald Trump's chief of staff, he pushed back against the proposal to deploy U.S. troops to the southern border, arguing at the time that active-duty U.S. military personnel typically don't deploy or operate domestically.

"We don't like it," Kelly said in remarks at the Coast Guard Academy on Thursday night. "We see that as someone else's job meaning law enforcement."

Read More Show Less
Photo: Iran

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

Yemen's Houthi rebel group, part of a regional network of militants backed by Iran, claims to be behind the drone strikes on two Saudi oil facilities that have the potential to disrupt global oil supplies.

A report from the United Nations Security Council published in January suggests that Houthi forces have obtained more powerful drone weaponry than what was previously available to them, and that the newer drones have the capability to travel greater distances and inflict more harm.

Read More Show Less

Editor's Note: This article by Matthew Cox originally appeared on, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

The U.S. Air Force has selected two companies to make an extreme cold-weather boot for pilots as part of a long-term effort to better protect aviators from frostbite in emergencies.

In August the service awarded a contract worth up to $4.75 million to be split between Propel LLC and the Belleville Boot Company for boots designed keep pilots' feet warm in temperatures as low as -20 Fahrenheit without the bulk of existing extreme cold weather boots, according to Debra McLean, acquisition program manager for Clothing & Textiles Domain at Air Force Life Cycle Management Command's Agile Combat Support/Human Systems Division.

Read More Show Less

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran rejected accusations by the United States that it was behind attacks on Saudi oil plants that risk disrupting world energy supplies and warned on Sunday that U.S. bases and aircraft carriers in the region were in range of its missiles.

Yemen's Houthi group claimed responsibility for Saturday's attacks that knocked out more than half of Saudi oil output or more than 5% of global supply, but U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the assault was the work of Iran, a Houthi ally.

Read More Show Less
Maj. Matthew Golsteyn in Afghanistan. (Photo courtesy of Philip Stackhouse.)

Nearly a decade after he allegedly murdered an unarmed Afghan civilian during a 2010 deployment, the case of Army Maj. Matthew Golsteyn is finally going to trial.

Read More Show Less