US Senate advances vote on ending military support for Saudis in Yemen

WASHINGTON, The US Senate sent a fresh warning to President Donald Trump and Saudi Arabia Wednesday by greenlighting a vote that could end US military support for Riyadh's war in Yemen.

Anger at the human cost of the war, as well as outrage over the killing of

USbased journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, have

prompted a harder line in Congress about the US military's role in backing

the Saudiled coalition fighting to bolster the Yemeni government against

Huthi rebels.

That mounting anger may prompt a separate measure in the coming days

accusing Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of direct involvement in the

journalist's killing � in line with the reported conclusions of the CIA,

whose director Gina Haspel briefed lawmakers on Capitol Hill Wednesday.

That would be a direct challenge to Trump, who has sought to cast doubt on

the crown prince's involvement in the killing and has stressed instead the

importance of US trade and military ties with the kingdom.

The Senate voted to advance the resolution that ends US backing for the

Saudiled intervention in Yemen by 60 votes to 39, with 11 Republicans

joining Democrats to back the measure.

The final Senate vote is expected to take place on Thursday, although even

if the upper house approves the resolution, it is likely to run aground in

the lower House of Representatives where Republicans hold the majority until

January 3.

And even if Congress does back the measure, Trump will be able to deploy

his veto power. It remains, however, a powerful symbol of growing unease at

US backing for the young heir apparent to the Saudi throne.

Republican Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell � a Trump loyalist �

had called on his party to vote against the resolution. But he did back a

pending nonbinding resolution that would hold the Saudi crown prince

responsible for the Khashoggi killing.

That resolution, crafted by Bob Corker, a Republican who has been critical

of the president, is expected to enjoy broad bipartisan support.

In the meantime, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Jim

Mattis are set to defend the alliance with Riyadh in a closeddoor briefing

to Congress on Thursday.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)