Defying Trump, GOP-led Senate votes to block Saudi arms sales

The United States is the biggest supplier of'major arms to Saudi Arabia

The United States is the biggest supplier of'major arms to Saudi Arabia

However, after weeks of negotiations, Senate leaders agreed to hold only three votes, with all resolutions included, according to The Washington Post.

Senators voted 51-45 to block the remaining 20 arms sales to Saudi Arabia, with Murkowski backing the sale.

A court of appeals in the United Kingdom has declared British arms sales to Saudi Arabia unlawful as the Senate voted to ban similar sales, but which President Donald Trump is expected to veto.

The House must now pass a joint resolution of disapproval, which would then go to the president's desk.

The UK department for global trade has revealed it will appeal the ruling with the Secretary of State, Liam Fox telling the House of Commons that they are suspending "licences for export to Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners which might be used in the conflict in Yemen". "They also discussed the threat posed by the Iranian regime's escalatory behavior", White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said in a statement. While the resolutions are also likely to be approved by the House, supporters of the measures are well short of having enough support to overcome Trump's threatened veto.

"You can not have a strategic relationship with the United States and behave in a fashion that shows no respect for human dignity, no respect for worldwide norms", Graham said.

Prince Khalid's tweets came after Iran shot down a United States surveillance drone in the Strait of Hormuz, escalating tensions between the two countries.

Estimates say that two-thirds of the civilian deaths were caused by the Saudi-led coalition; the rest were victims of actions by the Houthi rebels they are fighting.

"To reject these sales at this time and under these circumstances is to reward recent Iranian aggression and to encourage further Iranian escalation", Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jim Risch (R-Idaho) said.

Opposition in Congress to closer U.S. Saudi ties escalated after the killing previous year of U.S. -based columnist Jamal Khashoggi by agents of the kingdom.

The UK has licensed at least £4.7bn worth of arms to Saudi Arabia since the start of the civil war in Yemen in March 2015, with most of the recorded sales taking place before 2018.

US Senator Rand Paul asks a question during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington, DC on July 25, 2018.

Some lawmakers have opposed the alliance for years, due to concern about the Saudi-led coalition's war in Yemen. Sen.

Among military equipment in the deals are Raytheon precision-guided munitions, support for Boeing F-15 aircraft and Javelin anti-tank missiles, which are made by Raytheon and Lockheed Martin.

'These are bombs that we know have killed thousands of civilians in Yemen, patients in hospitals, children on school buses, ' Mr Menendez said. Menendez called the humanitarian situation 'an incomprehensible moral tragedy'.

"You've lost me, and that's too bad", he said.

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