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Trump vetoes measure to end US involvement in Yemen war

17 April 2019

The veto means the United States will continue its involvement in Saudi Arabia's bombing campaign against Yemen's Houthi rebels, waged in the name of holding back Iran's expansion in the region.

In his statement vetoing the resolution, Trump called such support "limited" and argued that it has not 'introduced United States military personnel into hostilities'.

Trump's first veto, issued last month, was of a congressional resolution disapproving of his emergency declaration.

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The veto is the second of Trump's presidency. Intelligence agencies said the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, was complicit in the killing. With the resolution, members of Congress were acting on their concerns about the thousands of civilians killed in coalition airstrikes since the conflict began in 2014.

Mr. Kaine also accused Trump of ignoring other Saudi human-rights violations such as the killing of columnist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Turkey and the jailing of feminist activists. "Doing so would interfere with the President's constitutional authority as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, and could endanger our service members by impairing their ability to efficiently and effectively conduct military engagements and to withdraw in an orderly manner at the appropriate time".

The four-year-long civil war in Yemen, which pits the Saudi-led coalition against Houthi rebels backed by Iran, has killed tens of thousands of people and spawned what the United Nations calls the world's most dire humanitarian crisis, with the country on the brink of starvation. "In addition, the conflict in Yemen represents a "cheap" and low-cost way for Iran to cause trouble for the United States and for our ally, Saudi Arabia".

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"The conflict in Yemen is a horrific humanitarian crisis that challenges the conscience of the entire world. Yet the President has cynically chosen to contravene a bipartisan, bicameral vote of the Congress and perpetuate America's shameful involvement in this heartbreaking crisis".

"We can not end the conflict in Yemen through political documents like S.J. Res. 7", Mr. Trump said.

The president has grown frustrated with Congress for some of its votes that seemed created to admonish him, such as the decision to remove sanctions on Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska - who has ties to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort - and the pushback against Trump's declaration of a national emergency to secure funding for his long-promised U.S. -Mexico border wall. "I hope my colleagues will show we won't tolerate the Trump administration's deference to Saudi Arabia at the expense of American security interests by voting to override this veto", Kaine said. Vetoing the measure is an "effective green light for the war strategy that has created the world's worst humanitarian crisis to continue", said International Rescue Committee president and CEO David Miliband. Trump vetoed that resolution last month.

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Trump vetoes measure to end US involvement in Yemen war