This afternoon, the House of Representatives voted 201 - 187 to pass H.R. 1142, a rule appended to H.R. 6784, the “Manage Our Wolves Act”. H.R. 1142 stripped H.Con.Res. 138, a war powers resolution to end US military support to the Saudi-led coalition’s intervention in Yemen’s civil war, of its privilege, preventing a vote on its underlying substance.
Save the Children reported, using data from ACLED (Armed Conflict Location and Event Data), that at least 685 civilians have been killed in Yemen between June and the end of August, with 51% of these casualties (about 349 civilians) attributed to the Hudaydah campaign alone.
President Trump announced his intention to appoint Christopher Paul Henzel to replace Matthew Tueller as US Ambassador to Yemen. The American embassy has been based in Saudi Arabia since the Houthi-Saleh coup in early 2015.
Human Rights Watch released a report detailing cases of hostage-taking orchestrated by the Houthis, which includes inhumane detention, torture, and murder.
Washington, DC -- Today, a bipartisan group of representatives led by Ro Khanna (D-CA), Adam Smith (D-WA), Mark Pocan (D-WI), and Thomas Massie (R-KY) introduced a House Concurrent Resolution, invoking the War Powers Resolution of 1973, to direct the president to remove United States Armed Forces from hostilities in the Republic of Yemen that have not been authorized by Congress. The Yemen Peace Project endorses this resolution and urges representatives to cosponsor and vote for the measure.
Middle East Eye reports that the Yemeni government is offering high salaries, paid in Saudi riyals, to people displaced from Hudaydah who are willing to fight on the front lines. Fighting is often the only feasible way for displaced people living in government camps to earn an income.
An apparent roadside bomb killed four people and injured five, including a senior security official, in Aden.
US House and Senate leadership have released the final version of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The annual defense budget bill will include two provisions relating to Yemen, one of which requires the administration to investigate US involvement in the torture of detainees by UAE forces; the other provision will place conditions on US refueling for coalition air operations. The YPP and our partner organizations have been working for several months to ensure that these amendments make it into the final law.
An apparent US airstrike killed 4 suspected AQAP operatives in Yemen.
The Saudi-led coalition forced a plane belonging to the International Committee of the Red Cross to land in Saudi Arabia after the plane made a sudden change of course. The flight was later allowed to continue to its final destination.
The YPP's legal team prepared this analysis of the War Powers Resolution last year, ahead of an effort in the US House of Representatives to invoke the Resolution and end America's military involvement in Yemen's civil war.
In 1964, Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution authorizing the Executive Branch to introduce U.S. forces in South-East Asia without a declaration of war from Congress. President Johnson and Nixon subsequently escalated the initial “advise and assist” mission in South Vietnam into a full-scale war prosecuted by U.S. forces, and failed to notify Congress of a bombing campaign in Cambodia. In an attempt to avoid similar executive overreach, Congress passed the War Powers Resolution in 1973 (50 U.S.C. Chapter 33).
On November 1, the House leadership removed the "privileged" status of H.Con.Res.81, the Khanna-Massie-Pocan-Jones resolution invoking the War Powers Resolution to end unauthorized U.S. participation in the Saudi-led war in Yemen. That privileged status, as mandated by the War Powers Resolution, would have guaranteed H.Con.Res.81 a floor vote. It is now expected that this resolution will not get a vote on the House floor this month.
Today the Yemen Peace Project (YPP), along with 64 other organizations, sent a letter to the United States House of Representatives to express their support for House Concurrent Resolution 81. The Resolution directs the President of the United States to end US military involvement in Yemen’s civil war, pursuant to the War Powers Resolution. Currently, the United States provides logistical, technical, and advisory military support to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen without authorization from Congress. The coalition has perpetrated war crimes, targeted civilians repeatedly using US-sold weapons, and created the conditions necessary for Yemen to become the world’s largest humanitarian crisis. Ending the United States military role in the conflict is essential to ending the notion that the coalition can win this war in the battlefield and push for peace.
On Thursday the Congressional Progressive Caucus hosted a briefing for staff members by Mr. Jamie McGoldrick, the United Nations Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative for the Republic of Yemen. The briefing was facilitated by the YPP's director for policy and advocacy Kate Kizer. In the briefing, Mr. McGoldrick spoke about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Yemen, and what the US and other foreign powers can do to address what has become the world's largest humanitarian disaster. Below is an audio recording of the full briefing.
Washington, DC— On Wednesday, Representatives Ro Khanna (D-CA), Thomas Massie (R-KY), Mark Pocan (D-WI), and Walter Jones (R-NC) introduced House Concurrent Resolution 81 to force a congressional debate and vote on America’s military involvement in Yemen’s civil war. US law requires the president to consult with Congress before introducing US forces into a conflict, and gives Congress the authority to end any military action that has been ordered by the president. HCR 81 directs the president “to remove United States Armed forces from unauthorized hostilities in the Republic of Yemen.” The Yemen Peace Project applauds the efforts of Reps. Khanna, Massie, Pocan, and Jones, and urges all members of the House to vote in favor of HCR 81.
WASHINGTON, DC - Last week, the US House of Representatives passed three amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would provide much-needed transparency into the performance of the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen and potentially end US participation in the civil war. The coalition, to which the US has provided arms, refueling, and targeting assistance without congressional authorization, has created a humanitarian disaster in Yemen. The Yemen Peace Project (YPP) applauds the House’s decision and calls on the Senate to also adopt these three provisions.
The Yemen Peace Project (YPP) calls on Members of Congress to support a National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) amendment that prohibits unconditionally refueling the Saudi-led coalition’s warplanes in northern and western Yemen. The coalition uses these planes to conduct airstrikes targeting civilians and critical infrastructure in Yemen, violating international humanitarian law (IHL) and perpetuating a conflict with no possible military solution. The Saudi-led coalition’s attacks have killed thousands of civilians and left millions in need of humanitarian aid, food assistance, and medical help. The United States cannot continue to aid and abet the coalition’s violations of IHL by refuel coalition warplanes unconditionally. Through this amendment, Congress can provide oversight of and introduce transparency into the process of refueling coalition missions.
The American Bar Association (ABA) recently delivered a white paper authored by Vanderbilt Law professor Michael Newton to the US Senate that assesses the ways in which US arms sales and military assistance to Saudi Arabia violate existing US laws. Because of Saudi Arabia’s gross and consistent violation of the human rights standards outlined in the Foreign Assistance Act and the Arms Export Control Act, the paper recommends that arms sales cease until Saudi Arabia complies with international humanitarian law.
The following is a summary of recent developments relevant to US policy in Yemen. The YPP produces these periodic round-ups for distribution to US government contacts.
Yemen's civil war is now in its third year and shows no sign of resolution, absent pressure from the international community and the United States in particular.
White House approval of Secretary Mattis' request for an escalation of US military support for the Hudaydah port offensive is likely to precipitate full-blown famine in the country and eliminate any remaining incentives for the warring parties to come to the peace table. Below is a quick rundown of recent happenings on the Hill and in the Trump Administration related to Yemen.