US Weapons Arriving in Yemen Despite Objections of Congress

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SANA’A- Newly obtained video footage shows that a shipment of US-made heavy weapons arrived in Yemen last week despite efforts by American lawmakers to prevent such arms transfers, according to a report. The footage shows an Oshkosh armored vehicle and other US-made military hardware being unloaded from a ship under the cover of darkness in the early morning hours at the port in the southern city of Aden, CNN reported.

The vessel, identified as the Saudi-registered Bahri Hofuf, is known to have stopped at the port city of Jeddah on September 17 before sailing on to Port Sudan the following day, the report said, citing port documents, tracking data, and whistleblower accounts. The ship’s tracking system was then turned off before being switched on again in Aden on October 29, the report added.

The latest delivery is likely to raise fresh alarm among US lawmakers, who have sought to block the administration of President Donald Trump from selling arms to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates over previous reports that American weapons had been transferred to terrorist groups in Yemen, including organizations linked to al-Qaeda.

The US Congress in July passed three measures aimed at blocking arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, but Trump later the same month vetoed the legislation. Under US law, recipients of American-made arms are forbidden from transferring equipment to third parties without prior authorization from Washington.

But, a CNN investigation in February uncovered evidence that Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners gave militants linked to the al-Qaeda terrorist group, militias and other factions in Yemen weapons that were manufactured by the United States, in breach of its arms agreements with Washington.

The Pentagon declined to comment on Wednesday when asked about the authenticity of the newly published video that reportedly shows US-made heavy weaponry arriving in southern Yemen last week.

“We cannot comment on the authenticity of the video,” a spokesperson for the US Department of Defense said.

The Pentagon spokesperson stated, however, that the US expects all recipients of American origin defense equipment to abide by their end-use obligations and not retransfer equipment without prior US government authorization.

“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,” the spokesperson added.

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