Washington: In a historic move, the US Senate on Thursday, unanimously voted and held Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud responsible for the murder of the dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Only if the resolutions pass the House of Representatives, the votes become the law. Furthermore, the US Senate rebuked President Donald Trump and voted to put an end to the US military support for the war in Yemen.
The war in Yemen has claimed the lives of thousands of people and the United Nations has declared the country to be in a world’s most dire humanitarian crisis. Yemen is already on the brink of famine.
The Senate’s vote is deemed to be historic because either chamber of the Congress has for the first time backed a resolution to withdraw US forces from a military engagement under the War Powers Act. According to the War Powers Act, which was passed in 1973, the president cannot commit US forces to potential hostilities without congressional approval.
The resolution was backed by seven of Trump’s Republicans who joined the Senate Democrats. Republican Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and sponsor of the resolution was quoted by news agency Reuters as saying, “Unanimously, the United States Senate has said that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is responsible for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. That is a strong statement. I think it speaks to the values that we hold dear.” After casting the Yemen vote, the Senate blamed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for Khashoggi’s murder. He added that anyone found responsible for the murder of the journalist would be held accountable.
The unanimous Senate vote which had urged the House leaders to allow a vote on the Khashoggi resolution this month, before Congress adjourns for the year. Khashoggi, a trenchant critic of the crown prince, relocated to Virginia and wrote op-eds for the Washington Post. He was allegedly killed by Saudi operatives inside the Istanbul consulate on October 2, triggering global condemnation.
(With Agency inputs)