01:00 GMT25 February 2020
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    Three US lawmakers want to block a proposed $110 billion sale of arms to Saudi Arabia, as those weapons could be used in the Yemeni war, making Washington a party to the bloody conflict.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The lawmakers introduced a joint resolution to force a vote to block a proposed $110 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia, Senator Chris Murphy’s office said in a statement.

    "US Senators Chris Murphy and Rand Paul, members of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and US Senator Al Franken introduced on Thursday a joint resolution of disapproval to force the US Senate to vote on a resolution blocking a portion of new weapons sales to Saudi Arabia in support of their military campaign in Yemen," the statement said on Thursday.

    US President Donald Trump, during his trip to Riyadh over the weekend, unveiled a deal to provide Saudi Arabia with $110 billion in weapons.

    Murphy noted that Saudi Arabia's involvement in the war in Yemen has caused scores of civilian deaths and allowed groups like Daesh and Al-Qaeda (both banned in Russia) to flourish in the country.

    "Thousands of civilians are being killed in the US-backed Saudi war in Yemen while terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda and ISIS [Daesh] are getting stronger by the day. Selling the Saudis precision-guided munitions that are going to be used to target civilians makes us complicit in this humanitarian and national security disaster," Murphy said.

    For his part, Paul questioned the wisdom of providing weapons to a nation that has supported terrorist groups in the past and has failed to uphold human rights.

    "Given Saudi Arabia’s past support of terror, poor human rights record, and questionable tactics in its war in Yemen, Congress must carefully consider and thoroughly debate if selling them billions of dollars of arms is in our best national security interest at this time," Paul said.

    Franken said the bipartisan resolution would send a message that Americans do not approve of the killing of civilians.

    "Thousands of civilians have been unjustly killed or wounded by Saudi-led forces in the Yemeni civil war. But despite this tragedy, the US continues to sell billions of dollars of weaponry to the Saudis while turning a blind eye to their indiscriminate killing of children, women, and men in Yemen. Our bipartisan resolution would block the latest weapon sale and help demonstrate that the US won’t stand for what the Saudis are doing to innocent people," Franken said.

    In 2016, Senators Paul, Murphy and Franken introduced a resolution to block the sale of $1.15 billion in Abrams tanks and other weapons to Saudi Arabia.

    The resolution was defeated in the Senate by a vote of 71 to 27, allowing the sale to go ahead.


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