Trump vetoes measure to end U.S. involvement in Yemen war

President Trump just issued the second veto of his presidency to block Congress

Democratic Congressman Ro Khanna, sponsor of the resolution, said Trump was "risking the lives of millions of Yemeni civilians to starvation, deadly airstrikes, and the war crimes of the Saudi regime".

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi - the country's most senior Democratic politician - took aim at Trump's veto in a series of tweets on Tuesday.

Iran-backed Houthi rebels have been accused of acts that could amount to war crimes and regularly fire drones at Saudi cities.

The veto - the second in Mr Trump's presidency - was expected, and Congress lacks the votes to override it.

The CIA has concluded that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the country's de facto ruler, ordered Khashoggi's killing. Members of Congress have expressed concern about the thousands of civilians killed in coalition airstrikes since the conflict began in 2014. Many lawmakers also criticized the president for not condemning Saudi Arabia for the killing of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi, who had been critical of the kingdom.

The president also said that the measure would harm bilateral relations and interferes with his constitutional power as commander in chief.

The resolution, which would have required Trump to cease giving military assistance to Saudi Arabia, passed the House of Representatives in April and the Senate in March.

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He also claimed that United States support was needed to "protect the safety of the more than 80,000 Americans who reside in certain coalition countries that have been subject to Houthi attacks from Yemen", referring to the Iran-aligned forces in the country.

Supporters of the War Powers Resolution argued the U.S. shouldn't be involved in the war without explicit permission from Congress. Opponents argued the United States does not have "boots on the ground" and is offering noncombat technical assistance to Saudi Arabia, an ally. In the Senate the vote was 54 to 46, with seven Republicans voting with Democrats. "Yet the President has cynically chosen to contravene a bipartisan, bicameral vote of the Congress and perpetuate America's shameful involvement in this heartbreaking crisis".

Pelosi added: "This conflict must end, now".

Sen. Sanders has led the charge on the Yemen resolution and might make this a larger fixture of his 2020 presidential campaign, now that the president vetoed the resolution. The Trump administration had already pledged to end the refueling runs.

Just last month he overrode a congressional resolution that aimed to reverse the national emergency he declared in order to obtain funding for wall at the Mexican border.

David Miliband, President of the International Rescue Committee, a humanitarian aid group, said: "This veto by President Trump is morally wrong and strategically wrongheaded".

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