Trump Vetoes Bill to End U.S. Involvement in Saudi-Led War in Yemen

U.S. President Donald Trump has vetoed a bill passed by Congress to withdraw support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen that backs the intentionally-recognized Yemeni government against Iranian-sponsored Houthi rebels.

“This resolution is an unnecessary, dangerous attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities, endangering the lives of American citizens and brave service members, both today and in the future,” Trump wrote to the Senate on Tuesday.

The resolution passed the House of Representatives in April and the Senate in March, the first time Congress invoked the decades-old War Powers Resolution to curb the executive’s power to take the country into a conflict without congressional approval.

The Iranian-backed Houthi rebels stormed the capital Sana’a in September 2014 and have since fought the Yemeni government, now stationed in Aden, as well as the Saudi-led coalition backing it.

From the conflict’s start, the Houthis have deployed tactics straight from the Hezbollah handbook at the expense of the Yemeni people. Iran’s use of Yemen as a southern gateway to attack Gulf states via Houthi attacks, primarily aimed at the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, has been one of the most concerning developments of the conflict.

As part of the growing network of Iranian-backed proxy forces in the region, including Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon, Houthi rebels have increasingly incorporated anti-Israel and anti-Semitic rhetoric into their speeches. In October 2018, the group handed out student and staff ID cards at the University of Sana’a with a slogan saying, “Death to America, Death to Israel, Curse the Jews, Victory to Islam.”

The group is also preventing ships from unloading critical fuel and food supplies at Hodeidah port, a gateway accounting for at least 70% of Yemen’s aid and the illegal flow of Iranian weaponry to Houthi fighters. The two warring parties reached a fragile ceasefire in Sweden in December, which includes the full withdrawal of Houthi troops from Hodeidah’s three ports and city.

[Photo: public domain / Wikimedia Commons]