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Academic Outlines Three Reasons Why Trump Vetoed Yemen Resolution

© REUTERS / Khaled AbdullahA man walks past a graffiti, denouncing strikes by U.S. drones in Yemen, painted on a wall in Sanaa, Yemen on November 13, 2014
A man walks past a graffiti, denouncing strikes by U.S. drones in Yemen, painted on a wall in Sanaa, Yemen on November 13, 2014 - Sputnik International
Donald Trump's decision to veto a newly-passed congressional resolution calling for withdrawing support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen has prompted serious concerns about the future of the region, analysts told Sputnik, outlining possible motives behind the US president's move.

On 17 April, President Donald Trump vetoed a congressional resolution which sought to end US support for the Saudi-led operation in the Yemeni conflict. It is the second veto issued by Trump during his presidency.

"This resolution is an unnecessary, dangerous attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities, endangering the lives of American citizens and brave service members, both today and in the future", the US president stated, returning the resolution to the US Congress.

Sputnik reached out to American academic and author asking them to explain Trump's rationale.

Why Trump Vetoed the 'Joint Resolution' on Yemen

"There are likely multiple reasons why President Trump vetoed the joint resolution", Jeffrey S. Bachman, the director of the Ethics, Peace, and Global Affairs MA programme at the American University's School of International Service, told Sputnik. "First, President Trump's decision is consistent with long-standing US foreign policy in its relations with Saudi Arabia".

A man stands on the rubble of a house destroyed during recent battles between Houthi fighters and pro-government fighters, on the first day of a 48-hour ceasefire in the southwestern city of Taiz, Yemen. - Sputnik International
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Second, "there are various economic interests involved, including those that extend beyond natural resources", according to the academic.

"Third, there seems to be a belief in circles in Washington that the US must, for all intents and purposes, unconditionally support Saudi Arabia because doing so acts as a counterbalance to Iran's position in the region", Bachman presumed.

According to Bachman, the US president's move came as no surprise. The academic believes that Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, "would have done the same".

On 25 March 2015, President Obama authorised the provision of logistical and intelligence support to Saudi-led military operations.

"The United States coordinates closely with Saudi Arabia and our [Gulf Cooperation Council] partners on issues related to their security and our shared interests", the White House noted at the time, emphasising the necessity to "protect Saudi Arabia's border and to protect Yemen's legitimate government".

US Should 'Immediately Negotiate Peace Agreement' in Yemen

People inspect the rubble of houses destroyed by Saudi-led airstrikes in Sanaa, Yemen, Friday, Aug. 25, 2017 - Sputnik International
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The Yemeni civil war erupted in 2015 between the internationally recognised Yemeni government, led by Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, and the Houthi rebels, a Zaidi Shiite armed movement that was founded in 1990. The Houthi insurgency in northern Yemen originated in 2004, when the government attempted to arrest the movement's leader Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi. In the course of the September 21 Revolution, also known as the 2014-15 coup d'état, Houthis attacked the country's capital Sanaa and then ousted the Hadi government. In March 2015, the Saudi-led coalition intervened in the Yemeni conflict at the request of the country's unseated president in order to restore his power in the country.

Chris Kanthan, a San Francisco-based political analyst and author of the book "Deconstructing the Syrian War" told Sputnik that the situation in Yemen has spiralled into one of the worst humanitarian crises since the Second World War.

"What's happening in Yemen is a civil war, a religious war and a proxy war", he elaborated. "North and South Yemen have been at each other's throat for twenty five years, and the religious angle to this war is the Sunni-Shiite animosity. Saudi Arabia supports the Sunni faction and Iran supports the Shiites".

A mock road sign for Damascus, the capital of Syria, and a cutout of a soldier, are displayed in an old outpost in the Israeli controlled Golan Heights near the border with Syria, Thursday, May 10, 2018 - Sputnik International
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Kanthan suggested that by supporting the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, Trump is actually targeting Iran, which is allegedly arming Shiite Houthi groups on the ground — something that Tehran vehemently denies.

According to the analyst, this directly plays into the hands of Tehran's regional rivals, Saudi Arabia and Israel, according to the analyst.

"[From] unilaterally recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel to cutting aid to Palestinians to walking away from the Iran [nuclear] deal to recognizing Syria's Golan Heights as an Israeli territory to labelling the entire Iranian military as 'terrorists'… Trump is needlessly making more enemies and blindly inching towards a major war with Iran", Kanthan opined.

From day one of his presidency, Donald Trump has stepped up pressure against Tehran, by eventually withdrawing from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), resuming sanctions and designating the country's elite armed force, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organisation.

A man walks past a graffiti, denouncing strikes by U.S. drones in Yemen, painted on a wall in Sanaa, Yemen on November 13, 2014 - Sputnik International
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"The United States will continue applying maximum pressure to the Iranian regime, using all economic tools to prevent Iran from developing weapons of mass destruction", said Steven Mnuchin, the US treasury secretary, commenting on a new round of anti-Iran sanctions in March 2019.

The political analyst presumed that "what would be geopolitically smart and morally right for the US is to immediately negotiate a peace agreement in Yemen, and go back to the days of having two countries — North and South Yemen".

The author believes that the "peace dividend [would] help the US gain some credibility in the Middle East".

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

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