WASHINGTON — On the seventh anniversary of the Saudi-led war in Yemen, Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Representative Peter DeFazio (OR-04), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Representative Ro Khanna (CA-17) issued the following statement:
“Seven years ago today, the United States began unauthorized military participation in Saudi Arabia’s devastating war in Yemen. In the time since, Saudi Arabia’s airstrikes and air-and-sea blockade have cost hundreds of thousands of lives and threatened millions more with famine, triggering the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. On this grim anniversary — spanning seven years and three presidential administrations — we are calling for an immediate end to American involvement in the Saudi-led coalition’s brutal military campaign.
“With each passing day, the crisis in Yemen intensifies. Saudi airstrikes have escalated in recent months, with a pace killing and injuring four times as many civilians as the previous year. The Saudi blockade has reportedly prevented all fuel from arriving at Yemen’s major port since January, causing massive shortages. And with 30 percent of Yemen’s wheat imports coming from Ukraine and food prices soaring, acute hunger is expected to increase five-fold.
“Congress has repeatedly voted to end the United States’ unconstitutional participation in this conflict. This past fall, for the third time in as many years, a bipartisan majority in the House of Representatives passed a measure in the National Defense Authorization Act to terminate ongoing military involvement. Still, the flow of U.S. logistics, spare parts, and maintenance essential to Saudi Arabia’s devastating bombings and aerial siege continue to this day.
“We know that concern is not limited to Congress. In 2019, then-candidate Biden urged Congress to override Trump’s veto and pass a War Powers Resolution to end unconstitutional U.S. military involvement in Yemen. Last year, he announced a commitment to ending support for ‘offensive’ operations in Yemen. After Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler Mohammed bin Salman outrageously declined to take President Biden’s phone calls, reportedly demanding deeper U.S. involvement in the Yemen war, there is no better time for the President to fulfill his promise: ‘end U.S. support for the disastrous Saudi-led war in Yemen,’ and ‘make clear that America will never again check its principles at the door just to buy oil or sell weapons.’
“While the United States may not be able to unilaterally end all fighting in Yemen, we can stop participating in Saudi Arabia’s brutal campaign, and exert leverage to compel them to lift their blockade. Now, on this solemn anniversary, we urge the Biden administration to act. If not, we remain committed to invoking Congress’ constitutional authorities to pass a new Yemen War Powers Resolution to end unauthorized involvement in this conflict. American complicity in this humanitarian disaster has persisted for too long — and we will not allow it to continue.”