Senators Move to Block US Arms Sale to Saudi Arabia

A bipartisan group of four US senators yesterday introduced a joint resolution aimed at blocking the U.S. sale of more than $1.15 billion in M1 Abrams tanks and other weapons to Saudi Arabia in light of reported civilians casualties and other concerns about the Saudi-led coalition’s prosecution of the war against Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Sens. Chris Murphy (D-Ct.), Rand Paul  (R-Ky.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), and Mike Lee (R-Utah) put forward the resolution amidst concerns that Saudi Arabia’s “war in Yemen, funded by the United States, has become a disaster that is making our country less safe every day,” said Murphy in a press release. “Thousands of civilians are being killed, and terrorist groups inside the country, like al Qaeda and ISIS, are getting stronger. Until the Saudis’ conduct changes, the U.S. should put a pause on further arms sales.”

According to a provision of the Arms Export Control Act, the action could force a vote on whether to authorize the sale to Saudi Arabia and comes on the heels of a letter to the White House from 64 members of the House urging a delay of the sale.

Come back to Just Security for more coverage of the resolution.  In the meantime, read a little more on the sale here. For more on legal issues concerning arms sales to Saudi Arabia as well as the overall war in Yemen, go here. 

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