Senate Advances Yemen Bill In Rebuke To Trump After Veto Threat

Senate Advances Yemen Bill In Rebuke To Trump After Veto Threat

"We are seldom free to work with unblemished partners", Mattis said in prepared remarks released by the Pentagon. He wondered why, after the killing, the USA should "so blindly and so willingly" join the Saudis in their war in Yemen.

Mr Pompeo spoke to reporters after he and Defence Secretary Jim Mattis told the Senate behind closed doors that weakening US-Saudi ties over the killing would hurt national security.

The president has taken heat over his position that the USA will remain allies with Saudi Arabia after the killing.

Pompeo acknowledged to the lawmakers that the Yemen conflict - in which Saudi Arabia is deeply involved - has taken a awful toll on civilians, but he argued that the Saudis provide an important counterweight to Iran in the region.

"Abandoning Yemen would do enormous damage to USA national security interests and those of our Middle Eastern allies and partners", Pompeo said in remarks prepared for the closed-door briefing. "The Kingdom is a powerful force for stability in an otherwise fraught Middle East".

The vote was 63-37, a rebuke to Saudi Arabia and President Trump's administration, which has issued a veto threat.

Republican Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said after the briefing it was apparent to everyone in the room that the crown prince was responsible for Khashoggi's death.

"We have a problem here". But it's a stunning moment for increasingly tense debates over who controls matters of war and peace for the U.S. and what to do about the decades-old U.S. -Saudi relationship. Graham asked Tuesday. He, too, supports blocking the arms sale and said giving the crown prince "a pass on murdering a critic doesn't make the world a safer place". "The longer we enable the conflict to continue, the more innocent men, women and children will die", said Sen.

Until recently, the US was providing air refueling for Saudi warplanes, but the American military has continued to provide intelligence to the Saudis in Yemen's civil war, which pits the ousted Yemeni government, backed by the Saudis and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), against the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., the committee's top Democrat.

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The CIA previously concluded bin Salman ordered the murder of Khashoggi.

Leading Democratic senators said the intelligence they had seen convinced them of the Crown Prince's role in the murder of Khashoggi, a Washington Post journalist and U.S. resident.

Those comments further angered members of Congress who have demanded an investigation of potential involvement by the crown prince.

But senators, including Graham, want to hear from CIA Director Gina Haspel on what the spy agency knows about Khashoggi's killing.

Administration officials were able to stall a Senate effort earlier this year against the Saudi-backed conflict in Yemen, when the resolution from Sens. The war has killed more than 10,000 people and created the world's most urgent humanitarian emergency.

McConnell said on Tuesday that "what obviously happened, as basically certified by the Central Intelligence Agency, is completely abhorrent to everything the United States holds dear and stands for in the world". "But our national response to his death can not be allowed to jeopardize the precarious balance in the Middle East and endanger our regional and global interests, our safety or the security of our allies".

That was before the October 2 death of Khashoggi, the USA -educated journalist who was publicly critical of the Saudi crown prince.

The office of judge Ariel Lijo said it was seeking information on any open cases relating to the murder of Khashoggi or war crimes in Yemen.

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