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    Trump Has 30 Days to Update Congress on Saudi, UAE Objectives in Yemen - NDAA

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The Trump administration has 30 days to submit to Congress a report on Saudi Arabia’s and the United Arab Emirates’(UAE) objectives in Yemen, the US National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) revealed.

    Earlier in the day the 2019 NDAA, which authorizes $716 billion of US defense spending, was signed into law by President Donald Trump during a ceremony at Fort Drum in New York.

    "Not later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President or the President’s designee shall provide a briefing to the appropriate committees of Congress including… a description of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates’ military and political objectives in Yemen and whether United States assistance to the Saudi-led coalition has resulted in significant progress towards meeting those objectives," the NDAA said.

    The administration must also provide details on Saudi Arabia’s efforts to avoid disproportionate harm to civilians in Yemen and whether US assistance has helped decrease the number of civilian deaths by Saudi-led airstrikes, the legislation said.

    Last week, Yemeni media reported that the Saudi-led coalition's warplanes had struck a school bus at a busy market in northern Yemeni province of Saada, a stronghold of Houthi rebels, who are engaged in violent conflict with the government supported by the coalition. The strike reportedly killed at least 50 people and wounded another 77. Over half of the killed were children under the age of 15.

    The NDAA will also require the Trump administration to list sources of external support for the Houthi rebels including financial assistance, weapons transfers, operational planning, training, and advisory assistance, the legislation said.

    The administration’s report must also include a report on the applicability of US and international sanctions against Houthi rebels and individuals or entities providing the Houthi forces with material support, the legislation said.

    In addition, legislation said the administration must assess the effect of the Saudi-led coalition’s military operations in Yemen on the efforts of the United States campaign to defeat al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and the Daesh terrorist group.

    For several years, Yemen has been experiencing a violent conflict between the government and the Houthi rebels. In March 2015, the conflict escalated as the Saudi-led coalition started carrying out airstrikes against Houthis at the government's request.

    Related:

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    State Dept Urges Saudi Coalition to Probe Deadly Strike on School Bus in Yemen
    Attack on School Bus in Northern Yemen Leaves 50 Dead, 77 Wounded - ICRC
    Saudi-Led Coalition Blames Houthi Rebels for Yemen Port Deaths
    UN Special Envoy to Invite Parties to Yemen Conflict to Geneva on Sept. 6
    Tags:
    weapons, external support, report, update, National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), US Congress, Saudi-led Coalition, Donald Trump, Yemen, United States
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