WaPo: Mattis asks Congress not to restrict U.S. support for Saudi bombing in Yemen
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis made a personal appeal to Congress on Wednesday not to restrict the United States’ support for the Saudi-led bombing campaign in Yemen, as the sponsors of a privileged resolution to end Washington’s involvement announced that the Senate would vote on the matter next week.
In a letter sent to congressional leaders Wednesday and obtained by The Washington Post, Mattis wrote that restricting military support the United States is providing to the Saudi-led coalition “could increase civilian casualties, jeopardize cooperation with our partners on counterterrorism, and reduce our influence with the Saudis — all of which would further exacerbate the situation and humanitarian crisis.”
He urged Congress not to impose restrictions on the “noncombat,” “limited U.S. military support” being provided to Saudi Arabia, which is “engaging in operations in its legitimate exercise of self-defense.”
The war in Yemen has inspired much controversy in Congress, as lawmakers have questioned why the United States has involved itself so closely on the Saudi-backed side of a civil war against the Iranian-backed Houthi rebel forces.