The US Senate has voted to withdraw US military aid for Saudi Arabia's war on Yemen and to blame the kingdom's crown prince for the murder of a journalist. The historic vote is the first time any chamber of US Congress has agreed to pull US forces from a military conflict under the 1973 War Powers Act.
Some of President Donald Trump's fellow Republicans defied him to pass the measure with Democrats by 56-41. But the resolution is seen as largely symbolic and unlikely to become law.
The non-binding war powers resolution calls upon President Trump to remove all US forces engaging in hostilities in Yemen, except for those combating Islamist extremists.
The Senate then unanimously passed a resolution blaming Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi's murder in October, and insisting that the kingdom hold accountable those responsible.
The US chose to cease refueling Saudi war planes last month, and Thursday's resolution - if it were ultimately passed into law - would prohibit that practice from resuming.
Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who co-sponsored the measure with Republican Mike Lee of Utah, hailed the vote. Today we tell the despotic government of Saudi Arabia that we will not be part of their military adventures, he said.
He described the outcome as a signal to the world that the United States of America will not continue to be part of the worst humanitarian disaster on the face of the earth.
Republican Senator Bob Corker told MSNBC: If he was before a jury, the crown prince, he would be convicted in my opinion in 30 minutes.
President Trump has vowed to veto the measure, and it is unlikely right now to pass the House of Representatives, which on Wednesday blocked a vote on the matter.
But Senator Sanders said he expects the resolution to succeed once Democrats formally take over control of the House in January following their mid-term elections victory.
The Trump administration had argued the bill would undercut US support for the Saudi-led coalition against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.
White House officials have emphasized US economic ties to the kingdom. Mr Trump's adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has continued to cultivate ties with the prince, according to the US media.
Earlier on Thursday, the warring sides met in Sweden where they agreed to hold a ceasefire in the port city of Hudaydah, a key entry point for aid and food imports. After the deal was reached, negotiators for both parties shook hands to applause, though they later expressed skepticism.
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The LOSER - The US Senate!Dec 18th, 2018 - 10:03 am 0