Congress scrutinizes US arms export policy amid Ukraine invasion

The U.S. Capitol constructing is pictured in Washington, Jan. 26. Congress held a listening to on Tuesday to look at U.S. arms export coverage after years of permissive exports underneath then-U.S. President Donald Trump. (Joshua Roberts, Reuters)

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WASHINGTON — Congress held a listening to on Tuesday to look at U.S. arms export coverage after years of permissive exports underneath then-U.S. President Donald Trump.

The listening to got here amid strain on President Joe Biden’s administration and allies to provide anti-tank and antiaircraft weapons to Ukraine because it battles a Russian invasion.

Throughout a U.S. Home of Representatives Armed Providers Committee listening to, Jessica Lewis, the State Division’s assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs, who oversees weapons offers, mentioned the Biden administration’s philosophy is to steer with diplomacy, however nonetheless, present “urgently wanted ammunition and Javelin anti-tank missiles” to Ukraine whereas concurrently authorizing transfers of U.S.-origin navy know-how from NATO allies.

Javelin anti-tank missiles are made by Lockheed Martin Corp. and Raytheon Applied sciences.

Over the weekend, Biden’s administration authorised as much as $350 million value of further weapons transfers from U.S. shares to Ukraine, together with anti-aircraft programs, anti-armor munitions, small arms, physique armor and numerous munitions. Over the previous 12 months, america has dedicated greater than $1 billion in safety help to Ukraine.

On the listening to Mike Rogers, the highest Republican on the committee, criticized the Biden administration’s arms transfers as “too little, too late.”

Biden’s administration overhauled the U.S. arms export coverage final 12 months to extend an emphasis on human rights when evaluating offers. When the brand new standard arms switch coverage is made public, it would formalize the departure from Trump’s prioritization of the financial advantages of arms gross sales.

Gross sales of U.S. navy gear to international governments fell 21% to $138 billion in fiscal 2021, based on U.S. State Division figures.

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UN Security Council extends Yemen arms embargo to all Houthis | Conflict News

Decision proposed by UAE comes amid a string of current assaults on Gulf nations claimed by the Yemeni insurgent group.

The United Nations Safety Council (UNSC) has prolonged an arms embargo to all Houthi rebels, because the Yemeni group faces elevated worldwide stress after a string of current assaults on Gulf nations.

Monday’s decision, proposed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and adopted with 11 votes in favour and 4 abstentions, extends an embargo that till now focused some Houthi leaders to your entire insurgent group.

The Emirati mission to the UN welcomed the results of the vote, saying the decision would “curtail the navy capabilities of the Houthis & push towards stopping their escalation in Yemen & the area”.

The transfer comes days after United States President Joe Biden’s administration issued new sanctions in opposition to a community that it accused of transferring tens of tens of millions of {dollars} to the Houthis – and amid a push by the Emirati authorities for nations to take a more durable stance in opposition to the rebels.

The Houthis have ramped up their assaults in opposition to Saudi Arabia and began straight concentrating on the UAE in current weeks.

A Saudi-led, US-backed coalition, which included the UAE, intervened in Yemen in 2015 to push again the rebels, who had taken over many of the nation, together with the capital Sanaa, and to revive the Gulf-backed authorities of Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, head of the Houthi supreme revolutionary committee, criticised the UNSC determination for ignoring “crimes” by the coalition and stated in a Twitter submit that any arms embargo that doesn’t apply to the alliance “had no worth”.

The battle in Yemen has introduced the nation to the verge of famine, sparking what the UN has stated is the worst humanitarian disaster on the planet. The coalition accuses the Houthis of being proxies of Iran – a cost that each the rebels and Tehran reject.

Russia, which is near Iran, on Monday voted in favour of the UNSC decision, which states that the Houthi rebels of their entirety will now be topic to an arms embargo first declared in 2015 on a few of their leaders.

Diplomats, chatting with the AFP information company on situation of anonymity, stated Russia’s place suggests a deal was minimize between Moscow and Abu Dhabi for the latter to abstain in upcoming UN votes on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The UAE on Friday abstained from a vote on a UNSC draft decision that may have deplored Russia’s assault on Ukraine, which thus far has killed greater than 350 civilians, in response to the Ukrainian ministry of well being.

Peter Salisbury, a senior Yemen analyst on the Worldwide Disaster Group, stated the UNSC vote comes amid a push by the UAE for a “extra aggressive stance” in opposition to the Houthis in mild of the group’s current assaults.

However he stated on Twitter that the “group-wide arms embargo doesn’t change a lot in observe as already utilized as if to complete group”.

The US has confronted rising stress to re-designate the Houthis as a “terrorist” group.

Rights teams have cautioned Biden in opposition to such a transfer, nonetheless, saying it may disrupt the movement of much-needed humanitarian assist to Yemen, particularly to areas beneath Houthi management.

Monday’s UNSC decision described the Houthis as a “terrorist group”.

It stated the council “strongly condemns the cross-border assaults by the Houthi terrorist group, together with assaults on Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates hanging civilians and civilian infrastructure, and demanding the quick cessation of such assaults”.

Norway stated it selected to abstain from the UNSC vote as a result of it was “apprehensive that utilizing such terminology, absent a transparent definition, could have [a] damaging affect on UN efforts to facilitate a political resolution in Yemen”.

“Norway can be apprehensive about unintended humanitarian penalties of this new language and that it may negatively have an effect on UN efforts to deal with large-scale humanitarian wants all through Yemen,” the Norwegian mission to the UN stated in an announcement.