Saudi, UAE accused of transferring USA weapons to Al-Qaeda linked terrorists

Saudi, UAE accused of transferring USA weapons to Al-Qaeda linked terrorists

"These reports are very troubling and the Trump administration must investigate further and work to prevent this from happening again", Democratic Representative Eliot Engel, chairman of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, said at a hearing.

According to Reuters news reports, the committee voted 25 to 17 in favour of the war power resolution preventing the American military from offering any help to Saudis and other countries waging war in Yemen's civil war on Iranian backed Houthi rebels. Engel, who hold the right of foreign weapons sales, asked: "Should Congress pursue greater restrictions on offensive weapons to the Saudi coalition?"

An investigation, carried out by CNN, has found that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates had allegedly used weapons provided to them by the United States as currency to buy off militias and factions in the Yemeni conflict.

An open source investigation published by Amnesty International today highlights a growing danger in Yemen's conflict as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) recklessly arms militias with a range of advanced weaponry. Other weapons used by UAE-allied militias in Hodeidah include Serbian-made Zastava MO2 Coyote machine guns and the Agrab armored-truck-mounted Singaporean 120mm mortar system - the UAE is the only country known to purchase this combined weapon system.

The US has made over $22 billion in arms agreements.

The State Department said it was investigating the allegations. "We are aware of these reports and seeking additional information", a department official said, adding that all such reports are taken seriously.

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Pyongyang has repeatedly urged a lifting of punishing US -led sanctions, a formal end to the war, and security guarantees. The State Department confirmed Biegun agreed to meet his North Korean counterpart Kim Hyok Chol again before the summit.

A Saudi-led coalition has been conducting strikes against the Houthis at Hadi's request since March 2015. Members of Congress have been angered by steep civilian casualties in Yemen, human rights abuses and the killing of Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, a US resident, at a Saudi consulate in Turkey in October. He said, "It can no longer be business as usual".

The US military provides intelligence and logistics support to Saudi forces, and up until recently, it was also assisting with mid-air refuelling of Saudi jets.

The resolution was sponsored by the Republican leader of the Senate Mitch McConnell, who said last week the measure "would acknowledge the plain fact that Al-Qaeda, ISIS and their affiliates in Syria and Afghanistan continue to pose a serious threat to our nation".

Last month, Ro Khanna, a Democratic congressman from California who has been at the forefront of calls to end USA support for the Saudi-led coalition, said the reintroduced bill has the backing of the current House leadership.

On Monday, the US Senate approved by a large majority an amendment critical of President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw troops from Syria and Afghanistan, in a sign of the deep discontent caused by the policies within his own Republican ranks.

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