US lawmakers blast President Barack Obama for arming Saudi Arabia


(C) speaks with King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud of (R) at Erga Palace in Riyadh, April 20, 2016. (AFP photo)

A bipartisan group of American lawmakers have called on Washington to halt arms sales to Saudi Arabia amid the Riyadh regime’s onslaught of civilians in Yemen.
US Representative Ted Lieu’s office announced that the Democratic lawmaker is circulating a draft letter to President Barack Obama, in which the signatories will demand an end to America’s unconditional support for the kingdom.
“Any decision to sell more arms to Saudi Arabia should be given adequate time for full deliberation by Congress,” the draft reads.
Representatives Ted Yoho of Florida, John Conyers of Michigan and Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina are helping Lieu with the letter, which has been signed by twenty other lawmakers so far.
The letter’s announcement came on the same day that US Secretary of State John Kerry set on a trip to the Saudi city of Jeddah to discuss the year-long war.
Saudi monarchs and their allies in Washington are faced with growing pressure from the international community to stop the military campaign which, according to local sources, has killed about 10,000 people, most of them civilians.
The kingdom launched the war in March 2015, in a bid to undermine the Houthi Ansarullah movement and to reinstate Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who had stepped down as Yemen’s president but is now seeking to grab power by force.
Earlier this week, it was reported that some of the Saudi-based US military personnel who were helping the kingdom with its aggression against Yemen have been called back to the US.

The casing of a US-made cluster bomb reportedly found in Yemen.

At its peak, the US dedicated about 45 full-time staff members to the war who were deployed in Riyadh and elsewhere.
Saudi Arabia has purchased billions of dollars worth of American warplanes and other US-made weaponry that it is actively using to attack various Yemeni cities.
The Saudi-led coalition has also received training, aerial refueling support and intelligence from the Pentagon.
The US has specifically been criticized for providing the Arab monarchy with cluster bombs, illegal bombs in the form of large shell casings that contain hundreds or thousands of bomblets.
However, the US reiterated its support for the Arab state in November last year, when it approved a $1.29 billion rearming program for Riyadh.

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