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Schumer to vote against Trump's arms sale to Saudi Arabia

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)
US Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer holds a news conference at the Capitol on May 9, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by AFP)

US Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer says he will vote for a resolution that would oppose President Donald Trump's $110 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia, as the regime supports terrorist groups “via its relationship with Wahhabism.”

Schumer made the comments in a statement on Monday, saying that he will throw his support behind the measure up in the Senate as early as this week because of the Arab country's weak human rights record and support of terrorism.

"The human rights and humanitarian concerns have been well documented and are important," the US Senate minority leader said. "Of equal concern to me is that the Saudi government continues to aid and abet terrorism via its relationship with Wahhabism and the funding of schools that spread extremist propaganda throughout the world."

The resolution of disapproval for the arms sale was introduced by a group of bipartisan senators in late May and is expected to be put to vote on Tuesday.

The measure would halt three specific arms sales, including Joint direct-attack munitions for Royal Saudi Air Force F-15s, Paveway laser-guided bombs for Saudi Tornado and Typhoon aircraft and the integration of the Kaman bomb fuses into the MK-80, BLU-109 and BLU-100 munitions.

The measure is not expected to pass as a similar resolution failed overwhelmingly last year during the final months of former President Barack Obama in office.

The handout provided by the Saudi Royal Palace on May 22, 2017, shows US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump waving as they board Air Force One before leaving Riyadh. (Photo by AFP)

Democratic Senator Chris Murphy, who was among the authors of the resolution, said late last month that they would have "significantly more support" than the 2016 resolution.

"The war inside Yemen is a national security nightmare for the United States," he told reporters at the time. "[These weapons] will be used to increase the humanitarian catastrophe that exists on the ground in Yemen."

Trump announced a $110 billion arms deal with the Saudis while visiting the country last month, with options to sell up to $350 billion over 10 years. The New York-based Human Rights Watch accused the Trump team of rewarding Saudi war crimes with the new deal.

Since 2011, the Saudi regime has also been sponsoring Takfiri terrorists fighting against the Syrian government, which has left hundreds of thousands people dead and millions more displaced. The military aggression of Saudis on Yemen has also claimed the lives of more than 12,000 people, most of them civilians. 

Yemenis stand on the rubble of houses destroyed in a Saudi-led coalition air strike in the capital Sana'a, on June 9, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Rights groups have expressed dismay over Saudi Arabia's dismal rights record, its treatment of the kingdom’s minority Shia population and its military support for Bahrain's crackdown on dissent.

Besides their intervention in Yemen, the US and Saudi Arabia, along with a number of their regional allies, stand accused of providing weapons and funding various militant groups wreaking havoc in the Middle East, particularly in Syria and Iraq.


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