Tell the U.S Senate: No war in Yemen
Last August, an American-made laser-guided bomb killed seven children in Yemen’s capital city.1 Before the strike, a 5-year-old named Buthaina had five brothers and sisters. After the strike she had none. Buthaina and her siblings were just a few of the estimated 5,000 killed or injured in the Saudi-led war in Yemen that started in 2015 – an average of five a day. 2
Right now, American military forces are refueling the Saudis’ American-made planes so that the Saudis and their coalition can drop American-made weapons to carry out a devastating war that is killing civilians, destroying crops, cutting off access to ports and wreaking havoc on the people of Yemen. As a result of American support for the war, millions are facing starvation and the country is battling what may be the worst cholera epidemic in history.3
We must speak out now to stop this deadly war in the Middle East. Fortunately, progressive champion Sen. Bernie Sanders just introduced bipartisan legislation to invoke the War Powers Resolution, which would require a vote in the next few weeks on ending U.S. support for this Saudi-led war.4 We have a short window to demand that the Senate vote to end U.S. military involvement and withdraw its support from the conflict that has led to what the United Nations calls the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.5
Tell the Senate: Pass S.J.Res.54 to end U.S. support for Saudi-led war in Yemen.
For nearly three years, under the guise of reassuring our allies and “confronting Iran,” the United States has quietly assisted Saudi Arabia in their conflict with the Houthis – a Yemeni Shiite militia group originally formed around the historical economic and political marginalization of Yemen’s northwest. The United States has provided weapons, provided logistical and intelligence support, and helped refuel coalition jets as they dropped bombs on Yemeni civilians. But the Houthis have limited ties to Iran and absolutely nothing to do with Al Qaeda, ISIS or any other terrorist organization that could conceivably fall within the scope of military intervention authorized by the current Authorization for Use of Military Force.6
This unauthorized war started under the Obama administration, and in the face of egregious civilian casualties, President Obama scaled back U.S. involvement. But Trump has given the Saudis and the United Arab Emirates the green light to double down on its disastrous air campaign.7 The civilian death toll in Yemen has been heart-wrenching – with over 10,000 casualties and rising – but the United States continues to offer resources to the Saudi-led coalition.
In October 2016, a coalition airstrike targeted a funeral procession, killing over 130 innocent people and injuring 500 more.8 During the 10 day period from Dec 6 – 16, Saudi airstrikes killed 136 civilians, including at least seven civilians when they Saudi-led coalition struck a hospital on Dec. 10.9 Then on Jan. 1, Saudi airstrikes killed 23 people in the port city of Hodeida.10 In providing the Saudi-led coalition targeting intelligence, mid-air refueling and other logistical support, the United States is complicit in violations of international law.
Tell the Senate: S.J.Res.54 to end U.S. support for Saudi-led war in Yemen.
Beyond the direct violence, the ongoing war in Yemen has forced millions to flee their homes, resulted in the world's worst cholera outbreak, and has left more than two-thirds of Yemen's population – more than 20 million people – not knowing where their next meal will come from.11 According to the U.N. 400,000 Yemeni children are acutely malnourished – that is at risk of death from starvation – while as many as 8.4 million people in Yemen are on the verge of famine.12 That is because Saudi forces are using food as a weapon of war – enforcing a blockade that has stopped much needed food, medicine and supplies from entering the country.13
What’s more, the war has contributed to a fast-moving cholera outbreak – the largest documented in modern history – that has already affected more than 1 million people.14
U.S. tax dollars are directly financing this Saudi-led war, even though U.S. involvement has not been authorized by Congress – whose responsibility it is to debate, vote on and authorize military action. By participating in this war in this way, Congress and Donald Trump are robbing the American people of their right to be represented in these decisions.
Congress must remove us from this conflict, immediately. Tell the Senate: Pass S.J.Res.54 to end U.S. support for Saudi-led war in Yemen.
Thank you for standing up for peace.
- The New York Times, “Young Yemeni Girl Is Sole Survivor After Airstrike Topples Her Home,” Aug. 26, 2017.
- AFP, "Yemen war: 5,000 children dead or hurt and 400,000 malnourished, UN says," The Guardian, Jan. 16, 2018.
- Bethan McKernan, “Yemen: almost one death per hour as cholera epidemic spreads like wildfire,” Independent, June 9, 2017.
- Lee Fang and Alex Emmons, “Bernie Sanders Wants to End U.S. Support for Yemen War. Saudi Lobbyists Fought Similar Measures Last Year,” The Intercept, Feb. 28, 2018.
- Robert Naiman, “Rand Paul: Unconstitutional Saudi War In Yemen Is Not In Our Interest, And Congress Should Vote,” HuffPost, Sept. 19, 2017.
- Joost Hiltermann and April Longley Alley, “The Houthis Are Not Hezbollah,” ForeignPolicy, Feb. 27, 2017.
- Samuel Oakford, “U.S. Doubled Fuel Support for Saudi Bombing Campaign in Yemen After Deadly Strike on Funeral,” The Intercept, July 13, 2017.
- Catherine Thorbecke, “US-Made Bomb Used in Airstrike on Funeral in Yemen, Human Rights Watch Says," ABC News, Oct. 13, 2016.
- U.N. Commission on Human Rights, "Press briefing on Yemen and Gaza," Dec. 19, 2017.
- The Washington Post, “World Digest: Jan. 1, 2018,” Jan. 1, 2018.
- Reuters, "More than 8 million Yemenis 'a step away from famine': U.N.,” Dec. 11, 2017.
- AFP, “ Yemen war: 5,000 children dead or hurt and 400,000 malnourished, UN says."
- Clarissa Ward, Salma Abdelaziz and Scott McWhinnie, “In Yemen, the markets have food, but children are starving to death,” CNN, Dec. 19, 2017.
- Bel Trew, “One million cases in Yemen cholera crisis," The Times, Dec. 22, 2017.