Merkley Statement on Decision to End American Refueling Assistance for Saudi Airstrikes in Yemen

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement in response to Secretary Mattis’ announcement that the United States would no longer provide refueling services to support Saudi airstrikes in Yemen:

“Nobody should see the pictures of starving Yemeni children and be okay with America’s complicity in Saudi Arabia’s horrific war there. It is long past time we stop supporting the airstrikes, and instead work to stop them. 

“While this is a welcome step, the United States must go further by ending arms sales to Saudi Arabia for use in Yemen’s civil war. Countries like Saudi Arabia—that blatantly violate U.S. law, violate the fundamental human rights of their own citizens, and target civilians with U.S.-supplied weapons—are undeserving of those weapons.

“I hope today’s announcement marks a turning point in American involvement, and the beginning of the end of this humanitarian catastrophe.”

Merkley has been a leading voice in the Senate opposing American munitions sales and refueling missions in support of the Saudi war efforts. He has led colleagues in urging the Trump Administration to change course, and introduced an amendment to the Pentagon’s annual authorization bill calling for an end to refueling support.