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Connecticut Democratic Senator Chris Murphy Introduces NDAA Amendment to Defund US Involvement in Yemen War

Connecticut Democratic Senator Chris Murphy Introduces NDAA Amendment to Defund US Involvement in Yemen War

Connecticut Democratic Senator Chris Murphy Introduces NDAA Amendment to Defund US Involvement in Yemen War
August 20
21:27 2018

WASHINGTON — Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) is trying to pass an amendment to the Trump Administration’s National Defense Appropriations Act of 2019 (NDAA) that would defund U.S. involvement in the Saudi war in Yemen. This would prevent the Pentagon from spending any future funds and withdraw current funding that would contribute to the U.S.-backed, Saudi-led war that has left over 10,000 civilians dead, over 500,000 injured and a famine crisis that could see nearly 20 million civilians starve by the end of this year.

The NDAA, recently signed by President Donald Trump earlier this month, sought to place limits on U.S. involvement in the Yemen War, but the president said he wouldn’t honor those limits, arguing that the war limits violate his role as commander in chief and place an undue burden on the Pentagon. Senator Murphy argues that the U.S. should not only limit it’s involvement in a war that has created one of the worst humanitarian disasters of the modern era, but that the U.S. should withdraw all financial involvement.

This pushback comes just a few days after Saudi Arabia targeted and bombed a school bus filled with children in northern Yemen, killing over 50 civilians, 44 of them children. Images of the burnt bodies of children caused international outrage among human-rights groups around the world, who say the Saudi war in Yemen wouldn’t be possible without U.S. support.

The horrific school-bus bombing was carried out using a weapon sold to the Saudi-led coalition by the United States, photo evidence of the bomb site has revealed.

The photos, taken at the scene by Ahmed AbdulKareem for MintPress News and by other local journalists, indicate that a Mark 82 (MK-82) bomb, jointly manufactured by U.S. weapons companies Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics, had been used in the attack. Despite the fact that those targeted were civilians and mostly children, the Saudi-led coalition defended the strike, calling it a “legitimate military operation.”

This is the latest in a long line of massacres involving U.S.-provided weapons and planes, and Pentagon-facilitated attacks. While Congress hasn’t always been eager to allow debate over this war, there is now substantial and growing concern about U.S. culpability in Saudi war crimes.

As MintPress recently reported, MK-82 bombs, along with other “general purpose” MK-series bombs, have been sold to the Saudi-led coalition by the U.S. through a series of contracts made in 2016 and 2017. In addition to the recent atrocity, the Saudi-led coalition has used the MK-82 bombs to target Yemeni civilians in the past, such as in the coalition’s bombing of a funeral in 2016, which left over 140 dead and 525 wounded.

Over 10,000 MK-series bombs have been sold to the coalition since the war began, despite an international outcry over the coalition’s near-constant targeting of civilians and critical infrastructure. Overall, the U.S. has sold billions of dollars worth of bombs to the Saudis since the war in Yemen began in 2015, most recently approving over $110 billion in weapon sales to Saudi Arabia in May of last year.

Murphy’s amendment will most likely be discussed during business for the Appropriations Act, which is expected to begin Monday. Congress will likely vote on the amendment later this week.

Top Photo | Hussain Albukhaiti poses with the remnants of a U.S.-made munition dropped by Saudi Arabia on Sanaa, Yemen. Photo | Hussain Albukhaiti

Mnar Muhawesh is founder, CEO and editor in chief of MintPress News, and is also a regular speaker on responsible journalism, sexism, neoconservativism within the media and journalism start-ups. She started her career as an independent multimedia journalist covering Midwest and national politics while focusing on civil liberties and social justice issues posting her reporting and exclusive interviews on her blog MintPress, which she later turned MintPress into the global news source it is today. In 2009, Muhawesh also became the first American woman to wear the hijab to anchor/report the news in American media. Muhawesh is also a wife and mother of a rascal four year old boy, juggling her duties as a CEO and motherly tasks successfully as supermom. Contact Mnar at Follow Mnar on Twitter at @mnarmuh

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