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Saudis denounce US Senate over Yemen War, Khashoggi resolutions

Deputy Crown Prince, Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Mohammad Bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud participates in the Counter-ISIL Ministerial Joint Ministerial Plenary Session, at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. on July 21, 2016. (U.S. State Department/Released)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Saudi Arabia has rejected U.S. Senate resolutions to end U.S. support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen and to put direct blame on the country’s crown prince for the murder of journalist critic Jamal Khashoggi.

“The kingdom condemns the latest position of the U.S. Senate that was built on untrue allegations and affirms a total rejection of any interference in its internal affairs,” the Saudi Foreign Ministry said on December 16.

In a move seen as a rebuke to President Donald Trump, the Senate on December 13 backed a resolution to end U.S. military assistance for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, seen by many as a proxy war with Iran.

A low-level conflict in Yemen escalated in 2015 when Iran-backed Shi’ite Huthi rebels seized control of much of the west of the country, including the capital, Sanaa.

Saudi Arabia and eight other Arab states intervened militarily in an attempt to restore the internationally recognized government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansur Hadi.

They have received support from the United States, Britain, and France. However, with reports of deaths of nearly 10,000 people, many of them civilians, and with millions more facing the threat of starvation, sentiment in the West has been turning against involvement in the conflict.

Separately, the Senate passed a resolution that said Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman was responsible for the killing of Khashoggi.

Khashoggi was murdered in October during what he thought was a routine visit to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has said evidence strongly points to the involvement of the crown prince, who has denied any involvement in the death of the U.S. resident and columnist for The Washington Post.