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New resolution in Senate to ban US arms sale to Saudi

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 06: US Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) (L) arrives at the Capitol July 6, 2016 in Washington, DC. (AFP)

The US Senate is introducing a resolution aimed at blocking sale of $1.15 billion worth of military equipment to Saudi Arabia.

The joint resolution of disapproval was introduced by Republican Senators Rand Paul and Mike Lee as well as Democrats Chris Murphy and Al Franken.

According to Reuters, there was no indication of any vote on the resolution.

The sale, which includes Abrams tanks along with other military equipment, "is a recipe for disaster and an escalation of an ongoing arms race in the region," according to Kentucky Senator Paul. 

The senators could not force a vote earlier than September 19, based on the loophole they are using to bring the resolution to the floor, which gives a Senate committee 10 calendar days to take up the resolution.

Until Saudis change conduct​

Yemenis check the destruction following a reported airstrike by Saudi airplanes in the capital Sana'a on September 4, 2016. (AFP)

On August 9, the Pentagon announced approval of potential sale of more than 130 Abrams battle tanks, 20 armored recovery vehicles and other equipment to Saudi Arabia by the US State Department.

This is while the monarchy’s forces have been accused of war crimes in neighboring Yemen since March 2015.

According to Connecticut Senator Murphy, the Saudi aggression has ended in a war that "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 ISIL (Daesh), are getting stronger. Until the Saudis’ conduct changes, the US should put a pause on further arms sales," said Murphy (pictured below). 

In August, 64 US House lawmakers sent a resolution to President Barack Obama, asking him to delay sale of arms to Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia has been incessantly pounding Yemen since March 2015, with the UN putting the death toll from the military aggression at about 10,000.

Thursday's announcement is not the only move against Saudi Arabia in the US Congress.

A vote is also coming this week to the House of Representatives on a bill that would allow family members of the 9/11 victims to sue the government of Saudi Arabia.

The bill is expected to be passed at the House following an approval from the US Senate.

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