A group of bipartisan senators is pushing to block an arms sale to Saudi Arabia that was recently approved by the Biden administration. The potential deal is for $650 million worth of air-to-air missiles, missile launchers, and other related equipment.
Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced a resolution of disapproval that would block the missile sale on Thursday, citing Saudi war crimes in Yemen.
“A message needs to be sent to Saudi Arabia that we don’t approve of their war with Yemen,” Paul said in a statement. “By participating in this sale, we would not only be rewarding reprehensible behavior but also exacerbating a humanitarian crisis in Yemen.”
Last week, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) introduced a similar resolution. “It is simply unconscionable to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia while they continue to slaughter innocent people and starve millions in Yemen, kill and torture dissidents, and support modern-day slavery,” Omar said in a statement.
The US is still supporting the Saudi-led coalition Despite President Biden’s vow in February to end all support for “offensive” operations in Yemen. The Pentagon is still servicing Saudi warplanes that are bombing Yemen, and without such support, Saudi Arabia’s air force would quickly be grounded.
Saudi warplanes have been pounding Yemen in recent months, mostly around the city of Maarib. Since June, about 15,000 Houthis have been killed.
The US-backed war and blockade on Yemen has caused widespread disease and mass starvation in the country. The UN warned in February that if conditions don’t change, 400,000 children under the age of five will starve to death in 2021. This means hundreds of thousands of children may have already died since the warning was made.