Following an escalation in the Saudi-led assault on the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah, most Americans said in a survey released Monday that the U.S. must end the support that has made possible the Saudis’ war in the impoverished country.
A poll commissioned by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and taken by YouGov found that three-quarters of 1,168 respondents were opposed to U.S. military support of the war—support which has included hundreds of billions of dollars in weapons sales, refueling support, and intelligence.
Americans across the political spectrum expressed strong disapproval of U.S. involvement in the war, which, by some estimates, has left more than 15,000 civilians dead, more than three million displaced, 14 million on the brink of famine, and 85,000 children dead of starvation. More than half of conservatives joined nearly nine in 10 liberals and progressives who took the survey, in calling for an end to American support.
“I think the American people and Congress are now saying let us end our support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen.” —Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)”Americans of all political stripes reject the U.S. policy of fueling the war in Yemen,” said David Miliband, president of IRC. “They agree that by continuing to provide military and diplomatic support for one side of the conflict, the U.S. is fueling a crisis that has severe consequences for millions of civilians…Yemenis deserve an end to this morally and strategically bankrupt war.”
The poll came amid growing calls from U.S. officials for a wind-down of U.S. involvement, including Defense Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s professed support for a ceasefire and Mattis’s announcement that the U.S. would stop refueling Saudi planes. Such calls have been met with cautious optimism by human rights groups.
“U.S. calls for a ceasefire a near month ago can only hold with the backing of the U.N., and an end to the U.S.’ own military support to the coalition. Otherwise, peace will not only be unrealistic but impossible,” Miliband said. “As soon as tomorrow the Senate could begin debate on War Powers resolution to bar further U.S. involvement. It is all the more critical that the opposition of Americans be heard.”
Eighty-two percent of those surveyed said Congress should vote on whether to end or decrease arms sales to the Saudis—a possibility which President Donald Trump dismissed last week, warning that cutting off that relationship with the Saudis would result in higher oil prices.
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