US Senators seek to block $1.15bn US military arms sale to Saudi Arabia

8 September 2016 (Last Updated September 8th, 2016 18:30)

US Senators are seeking to block a $1.15bn military arms sale to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, citing the Yemen crisis.

US Senators are seeking to block a $1.15bn military arms sale to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, citing the Yemen crisis.

Four senators, including Rand Paul, Chris Murphy, Al Franken and Mike Lee, have introduced a bipartisan resolution in the US Congress to block the sale of Abrams tanks and associated major defence articles to Saudi Arabia.

Murphy said: “Saudi Arabia is an important partner, but their war in Yemen, funded by the US, has become a disaster that is making our country less safe every day.

“Thousands of civilians are being killed, and terrorist groups inside the country, like al Qaeda and ISIS, are getting stronger. Until the Saudis conduct changes, the US should put a pause on further arms sales."

In 2015 alone, the US sold more than $20bn worth of arms to Saudi Arabia.

"Until the Saudis conduct changes, the US should put a pause on further arms sales."

The Saudi-led military operation against the Houthis and their allies has killed and wounded more than 10,000 civilians in Yemen.

The 18-month conflict displaced more than three million people and has resulted in numerous laws-of-war violations, according to Human Rights Watch.

Earlier in August, 64 members of the US House of Representatives signed a letter to US President Barack Obama requesting the sale be delayed.

In a separate development, UK MPs are calling on the British Government to stop the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia.


Image: A coalition airstrike destroyed the Sanaa Chamber of Commerce offices in a January 5, 2016 airstrike. Photo: courtesy of Belkis Wille / Human Rights Watch.