Rep. Holding Opposes Resolution on War in Yemen

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Washington, February 13, 2019 | comments

WASHINGTON – Congressman George Holding (NC-02) issued the following statement after voting against a resolution (H.J.Res.37) to end the limited United States support to the Saudi-led coalition engaged in the war in Yemen against the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels.

"Not only is this resolution inappropriate and pointless - as no U.S. service members are engaged in hostilities in Yemen - but it also sets a dangerous precedent and exacerbates a serious global and national security threat,” said Congressman Holding.


“Let’s not forget that as part of their expansive campaign to destabilize the region, Iran is providing extensive support and aid to the Houthi rebel forces responsible for precipitating this conflict in the first place.

“Thankfully, Saudi Arabia has stepped up and taken a key leadership role in combating the Iranian-backed rebels. We should be supporting their efforts, not jeopardizing our ability, and the ability of our allies, to prevent the spread of a dangerous and destabilizing Iranian puppet.”

BACKGROUND

Since 2015, the United States has provided limited support - including intelligence sharing, logistics, and, until recently, aerial refueling - to member countries of the Emirati and Saudi-led coalition fighting alongside the internationally-recognized government in Yemen against the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels. There are currently no United States military forces engaged in hostilities in the Civil War in Yemen.

Iran has enabled and perpetuated the tragic conflict in Yemen by illegally supplying advanced weaponry to the Houthi rebel forces. For instance, in March 2016 the USS Sirocco intercepted an Iranian shipment of 1,500 AK-47 assault rifles, 200 rocket-propelled grenade launchers and 21 .50-caliber machine guns. And in February 2017, the Australian Navy intercepted and seized nearly 2,000 AK-47 assault rifles, 100 rocket-propelled grenade launchers, 49 PKM machine guns, 39 PKM spare barrels and 20 60mm mortar tubes that were also intended for Houthi militia forces.

It is evident that a new, more comprehensive policy is needed to confront the threat posed by Iran, support regional partners, advance U.S. interests, and promptly end the suffering of innocent civilians in Yemen. Yet stopping U.S. support to the Saudi-led coalition combating the Houthi rebels will embolden Iran, strengthen radical terrorist groups, further destabilize the region, and worsen the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Yemen.

 

 

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