Creating new perspectives since 2009

US weapons shipment arrives in Yemen despite Congress objections 

November 8, 2019 at 1:55 pm

A still image taken from a Daesh video in Yemen shows mortar shells from a Serbian arms factory [Arms Watch]

Leaked footage purportedly shows a weapons cargo, including US-made vehicles being shipped into the Saudi-controlled Yemeni port city of Aden last week.

The secretly filmed footage appears to show the arrival of an arms shipment intended for the Saudi-led coalition, including what resembles the American-made Oshkosh armoured vehicle, known as MRAP.

CNN reported that multiple witnesses said that the Saudi-supported Yemeni authorities have made a number of arrests in a bid to identify those responsible for leaking the footage to the media. The vessel, identified as the Saudi-registered Bahri Hofuf, is known to have stopped at the Saudi port city of Jeddah on 17 September before sailing on to Port Sudan the following day, CNN said, citing port documents, tracking data and whistle-blower accounts. The ship’s tracking system was then turned off before being switched on again in Aden on 29 October.

READ: US to investigate ‘any’ claim of weapons misuse in Iraq

“We cannot comment on any potential or ongoing investigations of claims of end-use violations of defense articles and services transferred to our allies and partners,” a Pentagon spokesperson said in a statement. Under US law, recipients of American-made arms are prohibited from transferring equipment to third parties without prior authorisation from Washington.

The supply of American weapons comes despite a bipartisan call from Congress on the Trump administration to halt assistance to the Saudi coalition, efforts in both houses have failed to translate into policy, including a congressional War Powers Resolution which was vetoed by the president in April.

US Senator Elizabeth Warren posted a critical Tweet on the development and also followed up with a remark that US supplied weapons to the UAE had found their way in the hands of militia affiliated with the Southern Transitional Council – who recently signed a power sharing agreement with the Yemeni government, overseen by Saudi Arabia, as per the Riyadh Agreement on Tuesday.

READ: Riyadh delays the inevitable; the Houthis have the power in Yemen, Hadi has no authority