Menendez cheers State Department leak revealing split on Yemen policy

Menendez cheers State Department leak revealing split on Yemen policy


By:  Joel Gehrke
Washington Examiner

A new leak revealing a State Department split about the U.S. policy of helping Saudi Arabia fight in Yemen shows the U.S. policy could be on the verge of unraveling, according to a top Senate Democrat.

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“This insight suggests that individuals in the executive branch are increasingly aware that maintaining the status quo of current U.S. policy on Yemen is difficult to defend,” New Jersey Sen. Bob  Menendez, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations panel, said in a statement to the Washington Examiner.

 

Menendez provided that view following a report that the State Department’s military and regional experts opposed the idea of telling Congress that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are working to avoid civilian casualties. “Pompeo backed continued U.S. military support for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen over the objections of staff members after being warned that a cutoff could jeopardize $2 billion in weapons sales to America’s Gulf allies,” according to a Wall Street Journal report. The deal involved the sale of more than 120,000 precision-guided munitions from weapons contractor Raytheon to the two Arab countries.

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Menendez, who said that he has been waiting “three months” for a reply to a letter about U.S. involvement in Yemen, welcomed the report, leaked or not.

 

“If true, it is reassuring to know that so many bureaus within the State Department were united against certifying to Congress that the Saudi and Emirati governments are undertaking demonstrable actions to reduce the risk of harm to civilians and civilian infrastructure resulting from military operations in Yemen,” he said.

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