Sen. Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut, took to the floor of the U.S. Senate on Tuesday to draw attention to the "humanitarian nightmare" unfolding in Yemen - in part due to U.S. military assistance of the Saudi-led coalition laying seige to the country.
Murphy spoke for over fifteen minutes and methodically described the famine and health crisis facing some 21 million civilians in Yemen. Murphy explained in the detail the agonizing death from cholera that many in Yemen have already suffered and noting that "by the end of the year there will be 1 million people diagnosed with cholera."
Muprhy''s speech coincided with the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly voting on Monday for a resolution declaring that U.S. military assistance to Saudi Arabia in its war in Yemen is not authorized under previous legislation which has given the president power to combat terror abroad and invade Iraq in 2003.
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The nonbinding resolution passed 366-30. While the language of the resolution calls to “increase efforts to adopt all necessary and appropriate measures to prevent civilian casualties and increase humanitarian access,” it does not call for an end to U.S. support of the Saudi-led coaltion attacking Yemen.
According to Politico, the resolution "publicly acknowledges the Pentagon has been sharing targeting information and refueling warplanes that Saudi Arabia and other allies are using to attack Houthi rebels." The humanitarian situation in the war-ravaged Yemen is currently one of the deadliest in the world as famine and lack of medical supplies leave millions at risk - the Saudi blockade of Yemen has added to the country's woes.
The House vote came a day before the top U.N. aid official in Yemen called on the Saudi-led coalition to open all Yemen's sea ports urgently, saying it risked undoing the fight against cholera and hunger, with 7 million already in "famine-like conditions".
Jamie McGoldrick said the north of the country had 20 days' stocks of diesel, which were crucial for pumping water and fighting a huge cholera outbreak, and 10 days' stocks of gasoline, with no prospect of resupply soon.
Reuters contributed to this report