Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on Wednesday displayed a giant photo of a starving child living through the Saudi-led war in Yemen as the Senate voted overwhelmingly to advance a resolution to end US involvement in the bloody conflict.
Last month, the Senate put forward a resolution calling on the president to pull out US troops stationed in Yemen. But the White House has indicated plans to shelve the measure when it reaches the president’s desk, and has pledged continued support for Saudi Arabia.
On Wednesday, Sanders spoke on the Senate floor about the devastating impact of the war in Yemen while standing next to the harrowing image.
“Yemen is now experiencing the worst humanitarian crisis in the world,” Sanders said. “According to the United Nations, Yemen is at risk of severe famine in more than 100 years, with some 14 million people facing starvation.”
Sanders also singled out the Saudi-led coalition’s use of American weapons in Yemen’s three-year civil war, which has resulted in the death of scores of Yemeni civilians.
The Senate voted 60-39 to further the debate on the resolution. A final vote is expected for Thursday.
Those in support of the resolution say it sends a strong message to Saudi Arabia in the wake of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
“To our friends in Saudi Arabia, you are never going to have a relationship with the United States Senate unless things change. And it’s up to you to figure out what that change needs to be,” Lindsey Graham (R-SC), a Trump ally and strong critic of Saudi Arabia, told reporters at a Capitol Hill press conference.
Graham, along with Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) , also said there are plans to advance legislation to impose sanctions and prohibit arms to the Saudi state.
Earlier this month, Senators from across party lines announced with a “high level of confidence” that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was “complicit” in the Khashoggi’s brutal killing in October. They also called for the crown prince to be “held accountable” for a number of human rights abuses, and put him at the helm of the gruesome plot to execute Khashoggi.
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