WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on Friday reiterated his call for the United States to cease weapons sales and military support for the Saudi Arabia-led coalition’s war in Yemen following news outlets reported that the Trump administration would halt refueling missions.
“For years, the United States has sold weapons to Saudi Arabia and offered targeting and refueling assistance as American-made bombs were sent to kill thousands of innocent people, including children. The U.S. has radicalized entire generations because there was an American imprint on every civilian murdered there,” said Murphy. “By finally ending refueling missions for Saudi bombers, the Trump administration is admitting our joint operation in Yemen has been a disaster. So why only cut off refueling support? Why are we still helping the Saudis with targeting? Why are we still selling them the bombs at a discount? Now that it's no longer a secret that the war in Yemen is a national security and humanitarian nightmare, we need to get all the way out. I will join several other colleagues to introduce a resolution in the coming weeks to do just that.”
For years, Murphy has been a vocal critic of U.S. support for the Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen that has led to devastating humanitarian consequences and a security vacuum that has empowered terrorist groups. Murphy has repeatedly expressed concern that U.S. participation in Saudi Arabia’s military actions against Houthi rebels in Yemen threatens our own national security interests.
Last month, after journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was killed at the Saudi consulate in Turkey, Murphy reiterated his call for the suspension of military support for the Saudi-led campaign. He echoed his calls in an op-ed in the Washington Post.
In September, Murphy renewed his call to cease support for the Saudi-led campaign following a United Nations report that found continued human rights violations. Earlier this year, Murphy introduced an amendment to the FY 2019 Department of Defense Appropriations bill that would cut off United States’ support for the Saudi Arabia-led coalition’s war in Yemen until the Secretary of Defense certified that the coalition’s air campaign is not violating international law and US policy. Senate Republicans objected to voting on Murphy’s amendment. Murphy introduced similar legislation last year.
Murphy has introduced a bipartisan resolution with U.S. Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) to end unauthorized U.S. military involvement in Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen. In June, Murphy and colleagues sent a letter calling on the Trump administration to take action before an attack on the port of Hudaydah.