Senator Sanders Seeks Backing for Measure Forcing US Pullout From Yemen Conflict

© REUTERS / Yuri GripasU.S. Senator Bernie Sanders speaks during a news conference on Yemen resolution on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 30, 2019
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders speaks during a news conference on Yemen resolution on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 30, 2019 - Sputnik International
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Congress needs to end US backing for the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen’s conflict during a historic vote on Wednesday because American participation has never received congressional approval, Senator Bernie Sanders said in a press release.

"In December, the Senate made history by passing this same resolution", Sanders said on Tuesday. "The humanitarian catastrophe has only gotten worse in Yemen, and our intervention there is every bit as unconstitutional as it was then".

In February, the House of Representatives approved on a 248-to-177 vote a resolution condemning US involvement in the conflict. The Senate approved a companion resolution in the previous Congress on a 56-41 vote. That measure died in the House of Representatives, but the Senate will have another opportunity with Wednesday’s vote.

READ MORE: Trump: US Citizen Held Hostage in Yemen 'Has Been Recovered'

Neither tally came close to the two-thirds majority needed in both houses of the US Congress to override a likely presidential veto.

Saudi army artillery fire shells towards Houthi positions from the Saudi border with Yemen April 13, 2015 - Sputnik International
‘Time For Congress to Step Up': US Lawmakers Seek to End US Involvement in Yemen
Yemen has been engulfed in a violent conflict between the government headed by President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and the Shiite Houthi movement, also known as Ansar Allah, backed by army units loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, for several years. The Saudi-led coalition has been carrying out airstrikes against the Houthis at Hadi's request since March 2015.

The intense fighting between the two sides resulted in one of the world's most acute humanitarian crises, with about 22 million people in Yemen currently in need of some form of humanitarian assistance or protection, according to the UN figures.

READ MORE: Yemen Debacle Shows It’s ‘Certainly Time’ for US Congress to Reclaim War Powers

The Trump administration came under fire last year when the US State Department, for fear of losing some $2 billion in arms sales to the Gulf States, certified that the Saudi-led coalition was trying to avoid civilian deaths. The certification is required by US law to authorize military aid.

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