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Murphy Pushes To Cut Off Funding For Yemen War

Susan Walsh
Sen. Christopher Murphy, D-Conn., questions Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as he testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington in July during a hearing on diplomacy and national security.

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut says he’s introducing an amendment to the Defense Appropriation bill that the Senate is expected to take up this week. The amendment would cut off U.S. support for the Saudi-led coalition war in Yemen.

Murphy, a Democratic member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has been a vocal critic of U.S. support for the war in Yemen. He says his amendment is in response to a recent Saudi Arabian-led coalition airstrike in northern Yemen. According to the International Committee of the Red Cross, a school bus was bombed in the airstrike killing 51 people, including 40 children, and wounding another 79, including 56 children.

“My amendment calls for an end to the U.S. funding until we get a certification that we are not going to hit civilian targets. That’s morally indefensible, but it is also horrible for U.S. national security because you end up radicalizing Yemenis against us in the long run.”

Murphy says his amendment requires that the certification be done by the U.S. Secretary of Defense. The U.N. has called for an independent and prompt investigation of the airstrike. According to U.N. officials, up to a third of all Saudi-led coalition airstrikes in Yemen have hit civilian targets.