Skip to main content

Senate tacitly endorses US role in Yemen war

The upper chamber overwhelmingly defeated a bill to block US arms sales to Saudi Arabia.
A man walks inside a building destroyed by a Saudi-led air strike in the Red Sea port city of Houdieda, Yemen, September 5, 2016. REUTERS/Abduljabbar Zeyad - RTX2O5W7

The Senate overwhelmingly agreed to proceed with arms sales to Saudi Arabia on Sept. 21, in effect casting the first vote on US participation after 18 months of war in Yemen.

The upper chamber voted 71-27 to shelve an effort from Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., that would have blocked a $1.15 billion proposed sale of tanks and other weapons. Opponents argued that Saudi Arabia needs all the help it can get in what they described as a proxy war against Iran in its backyard, but the bill's sponsors countered that it's Congress' responsibility to fully explore and debate what exactly the United States is getting involved in.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.