Yamanyoon- 18 Nov 2017
The Democratic congressman from California, Ro Khanna, said the US made a mistake in supporting the Saudi-led coalition’s bombing campaign of Yemen, Al Jazeera reported.
“Today, I believe that we are aiding Saudi Arabia in Saudi Arabia’s committing war crimes,” Khanna said.
The US House of Representatives passed a resolution earlier this week that called on the US armed forces to withdraw from “unauthorised hostilities” in the Saudi-led bombing campaign of Yemen, which began in 2015.
Thousands of people have been killed in the conflict and the Saudi-led coalition has bombed key infrastructure and imposed a strict blockade on the country.
Yemen is facing a dire humanitarian crisis and millions of people will die in what could be the worst famine in decades if the blockade is not lifted, the United Nations recently warned.
The US has assisted Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in “conducting aerial bombings in Yemen” and provided “midair refueling services” to their warplanes, according to the resolution, which was overwhelmingly adopted by a vote of 366-30.
By aiding the Saudis in airstrikes that kill civilians, we are creating a security vacuum that allows groups like ISIS to gain a foothold.
While the resolution is non-binding, Khanna, who was one of its co-sponsors, said it would put pressure on the Saudis to provide greater humanitarian access to Yemen and allow food and basic medicine to reach Yemenis.
“That’s going to make a difference. That can at least save lives,” Khanna said.
In his interview with Al Jazeera, Khanna had harsh words for Saudi Arabia and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in particular.
“Salman strikes me as not smart,” Khanna said about the Crown Prince, who is also known by the initials MBS.
“He’s not judicious and he’s not prudent and he may do things that ultimately aren’t even in his country’s interest, which usually cause war.”
Khanna continued: “Napoleon once said worse than a crime is a blunder, and Salman strikes me as a blunderer.”
MBS has rapidly consolidated power since he was named next in line for the Saudi throne by his father, King Salman, last June.
Dozens of senior Saudi officials have been rounded up and held since early November in what the kingdom has described as a crackdown on corruption.
The Saudis have also faced a barrage of criticism for their alleged role in forcing Saad Hariri to resign as Lebanon’s prime minister.