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The war in Yemen has created one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world. More than 337,000 people have been killed, and over 16 million are on the brink of famine.
The UN-brokered truce in Yemen expired in early October 2022, and Saudi Arabia’s blockade is still pushing millions of Yemenis to the edge of starvation by limiting commercial imports, including fuel and medicine. Without another truce or negotiated solution to the conflict, nothing prevents the Saudis from restarting airstrikes in Yemen.
Even after the Biden administration announced an end to “offensive” support for the Saudi-led coalition in early 2021, the United States has continued to provide logistical support, spare parts, and maintenance for Saudi warplanes. Before the recent ceasefire, the Saudis conducted an average of six airstrikes per day for over a year, causing horrific devastation and civilian harm.
Bipartisan majorities in both chambers of Congress passed a Yemen War Powers Resolution in 2019 to end U.S. support for the Saudi-led war. While President Trump vetoed this resolution, UN officials say that this congressional action helped to promote peace negotiations. Now, Congress has a historic opportunity to help end U.S. participation in one of the most devastating wars in the world.
We urge Congress to introduce and pass the Yemen War Powers Resolution to terminate unauthorized military involvement in the Saudi-led coalition’s war and blockade.
The War Powers Act must be invoked because:
- Passage will push the warring parties to negotiate. U.S. pressure will ensure that Saudi Arabia remains at the negotiating table to end the war permanently.
- Urgent action is needed. The war has led to a humanitarian disaster, and Yemen’s children are being starved. In 2023, an estimated 21.6 million people will need humanitarian assistance.
- The war and blockade are killing Yemeni civilians. The UN estimated that the Yemen war led to 377,000 deaths by the end of 2021—nearly 60% due to indirect causes such as disruptions in access to food, clean water, and medicine
Contact: Hassan El-Tayyab, Legislative Director for Middle East Policy, Hassan@fcnl.org