March 26, 2015

Kaine Statement On Yemen

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees, released the following statement today on the situation in Yemen: 

“I am deeply concerned by the deteriorating security situation in Yemen and the Houthi attacks on the democratically elected Government of Yemen. Allowing Yemen to spiral into civil or regional proxy war would not only provide an attractive opening for terrorist groups such as al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and ISIL to seize territory, but also raise significant humanitarian concerns for the Yemeni people.  I support the efforts of the region, led by Saudi Arabia and a strong coalition of ten nations, to launch airstrikes to stop Houthi military advances against President Hadi’s government.  I strongly urge the continued provision of U.S. logistical and intelligence support to Gulf Cooperation Council-led military operations. The United States cannot take the place of Arab partners in securing their region, and I encourage the same coordinated regional approach to address the continued threat from ISIL. We stand with the Yemeni people and will continue to support the legitimate government of Yemen and our regional partners. “

During a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing earlier today with commanders from U.S. Central Command, U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Special Operations Command Programs, Kaine also raised the point that while Saudi Arabia and the other GCC partner nations have swiftly engaged against the Houthis in Yemen, they have not been as willing to take on the fight against ISIL in Iraq and Syria.

Kaine said that while he is “gratified” by this swift action and wants “to see a region that will stand up and try to deal with its own problems, rather than telling us quietly that they think it’s a problem and not doing anything,” he was also struck “by the fact that those nine nations haven’t come together and acted with dispatch against ISIL.”

“They’re involved,” he said. “But they are not acting with dispatch against ISIL even a year into ISIL’s accelerated taking of territory in Syria and Iraq.”

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