Saudi Arabia called US resolutions to end military aid for a coalition in Yemen and to blame the kingdom’s crown prince for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi ‘interference’ based on ‘untrue allegations.’ Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Sunday that his government is seeking to leave a multibillion-dollar arms deal with Saudi Arabia.
In a historic vote the US Senate decided to end US military support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen’s civil war on Thursday also agreeing to blame the Saudi crown prince for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. The vote was a rare bipartisan rebuke reflecting anger with the Trump administration’s handling of Saudi Arabia relations.
The US Senate decided on Wednesday to end military support for the Saudi Arabian-led coalition in the war in Yemen in a move that defies President Trump. Lawmakers will push for sanctions against the Saudi kingdom. Eleven Republicans joined Democrats to achieve the majority necessary for the decision. Trump has threatened to veto the move.
Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir said ‘we do not extradite our citizens’ in response to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s demand in the case of Jamal Khashoggi’s murder suspects. Saudi Arabia has charged 11 people in the murder. Turkey issued arrest warrants for the suspects after requesting extradition on Wednesday.
After a private CIA briefing on Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s killing South Carolina, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said he had ‘high confidence’ that crown prince Mohammed bin Salman was complicit in the murder. Graham described the Saudi crown prince as ‘crazy.’ Senators urged President Trump to condemn the killing following the initial White House response.
Amnesty International says several activists who were imprisoned since May in Saudi Arabia were beaten, sexually harassed and tortured during interrogation. At least 10 women and 7 men were detained by Saudi Arabia in connection to their work on human rights. The detainees included women campaigning for the right to drive.
As pressure mounts to punish Saudi Arabia for the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, President Trump said he does not want to listen to the ‘suffering tape’ of Khashoggi’s murder provided by Turkey. Trump was fully briefed on the tape’s content. The CIA concluded Khashoggi’s murder was ordered by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor concluded the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi was ordered by an intelligence officer and not Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. There are 21 people in total in custody for the murder of Khashoggi. Five may face the death penalty. The Trump administration also has sanctioned 17 Saudi officials for their alleged involvement in the killing.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed that Canadian intelligence has heard an audio recording of the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Trudeau said Canada is working closely with Turkey on the case. The UK has increased pressure on Saudi Arabian leaders to agree to a ceasefire in Yemen and facilitate political talks.
Violence in Yemen’s key port city Hodeidah has escalated despite US calls for a ceasefire. UN humanitarian coordinator Lisa Grande says the violence is ‘some of the fiercest fighting’ seen in months. Saudi King Salman began an unprecedented domestic tour on Tuesday amid the international crisis following the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The 82-year-old monarch was joined by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.