Trump vetoes measure to end US involvement in Yemen war

Trump vetoes measure to end US involvement in Yemen war

"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", he said in his veto message.

Trump's veto came as no surprise.

These countries "have been subject to Huthi attacks from Yemen", he said, referring to drone and missile strikes the Saudi-led coalition has either claimed were intercepted or denied altogether.

Trump was expected to issue the veto as the resolution was seen as a rebuke of Trump's Middle East policies.

It is the second time that Mr Trump has used his veto power since entering the White House.

President Trump with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman a year ago. 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.

At the same time, Trump continues to want to keep strong ties with Saudi Arabia and does not share the view of Congress that the kingdom needs to be punished for the killing of Khashoggi, aides said.

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The president also said that the measure would harm bilateral relations and interferes with his constitutional power as commander in chief.

The US now pours billions of dollars of arms to the Saudi-led coalition fighting against Houthi rebels, who are believed to be supported by Iran, in Yemen. "Yet the President has cynically chosen to contravene a bipartisan, bicameral vote of the Congress & perpetuate America's shameful involvement in this heartbreaking crisis".

Congress passed a historic War Powers resolution in early April, featuring strong bipartisan support, representing much of President Trump's foreign policy vision of "America First", which contended that America should intervene less overseas and focus more on rebuilding the country. In the Senate the vote was 54 to 46, with seven Republicans voting with Democrats.

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

The president issued his first veto of legislation out of Congress in March when they voted to block his declaration of a national emergency on the border. The House has voted to end American involvement in the Yemen war, rebuffing the Trump administration's support for the Saudi-led military campaign.

Sen. Sanders has led the charge on the Yemen resolution and might make this a larger fixture of his 2020 presidential campaign, now that the president vetoed the resolution.

David Miliband, President of the International Rescue Committee, a humanitarian aid group, said: "This veto by President Trump is morally wrong and strategically wrongheaded".

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