US Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Todd Young have sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo ahead of a Saturday deadline for him to re-certify to Congress that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are taking adequate measures to avoid harming civilians in Yemen.
The bipartisan letter calls for “a certification that better reflects the facts on the ground” in Yemen.
Exclusive: How US arms end up in wrong hands in Yemen
“We remain concerned that the previous Yemen certification submitted to Congress did not accurately reflect known facts on the ground. As such, any follow-on certification should take all evidence into account and succinctly demonstrate to the Saudi-led coalition that the American people and their representatives in Congress will not stand for the continued disregard of the security and humanitarian interests of the US,” the two senators wrote.
“We believe it is vital that our security partners be reminded of their commitments to US interests, laws and humanitarian principles.”
The letter also cites concern about “the Saudi-led coalition’s commitment to adhering to all laws and requirements regulating defense articles purchased or transferred from the United States.”
An exclusive CNN investigation published Monday revealed that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates had transferred US-made weapons to al Qaeda-linked fighters, hardline Salafi militias, and other groups on the ground in apparent violation of US arms deals. It also uncovered evidence that US-made weapons are in the possession of Iranian-backed Houthi rebels.
While the bipartisan letter does not directly reference CNN’s reporting, it highlights “recent reports” that outline that a “broad array of advanced US weaponry” is now in the hands of the Houthis. Shaheen’s spokesperson later confirmed to CNN that the letter was spurred on by the network’s coverage.
The US State Department has not yet responded to inquiries on whether Pompeo intends to meet the certification deadline, thereby allowing US-provided aerial refueling services to the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthis to continue.
01:57 - Source: CNN
ICC to investigate alleged war crimes by Israel and Hamas
FILE- In this Nov. 7, 2019 file photo, the International Criminal Court, or ICC, is seen in The Hague, Netherlands. The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said Wednesday, March 3, 2021 that she has launched an investigation into alleged crimes in the Palestinian territories. Fatou Bensouda said in a statement the probe will be conducted "independently, impartially and objectively, without fear or favor."(AP Photo/Peter Dejong, File)
ICC to investigate alleged war crimes by Israel and Hamas
Paul Kane/Getty Images
Attorney-General Christian Porter speaks during a media conference on March 03, 2021 in Perth, Australia. Attorney-General Christian Porter has publicly confirmed he is the cabinet minister named in a historical rape allegation from 1988 which came to light in the last week and has emphatically denied the allegations.
Australian Attorney General denies historical rape allegation
Cuba aims to produce its own Covid-19 vaccine
Police shoot stun grenades at Arab Israelis protesting an increase in gang violence in their towns.
Police shoot stun grenades at peaceful Arab-Israeli protesters
olcanological Survey of Indonesia via Reuters
Mount Sinabung in Indonesia erupted on March 2, launching a cloud of ash and dust several kilometers into the sky. No one was injured in the eruption but authorities have warned people to stay away from the crater.
See this volcano in Indonesia erupt
New satellite images taken by Maxar show that North Korea sometime in the past year built a structure that may be intended to obscure entrances to an underground facility where nuclear weapons or nuclear weapons components are stored.
See images US intelligence claims is a secret weapons site
nigeria kidnapped schoolgirls released Busari pkg intl ldn vpx_00000423.png
Tears of joy and relief as 279 Nigerian schoolgirls return home
STR/AFP/AFP via Getty Images
Protesters take cover behind homemade shields as tear gas is fired during a demonstration against the military coup in Yangon on March 1, 2021. (Photo by STR / AFP) (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)
Footage shows tear gas, flash bangs used on protesters in Myanmar
01 rivers migrants pkg 02282021
CNN correspondent speaks to migrants making dangerous journey to US
Kiran Ridley/Getty Images
PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 01: Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy leaves court after being found guilty of corruption and influence-peddling on March 01, 2021 in Paris, France. Mr. Sarkozy is only the second French president in modern times to have been convicted, after the conviction of former President Jacques Chirac in 2011. (Photo by Kiran Ridley/Getty Images)
'An earthquake in French politics': CNN reporter on Sarkozy sentence
Hear from schoolgirl who escaped abduction in Nigeria
UK police appealed for help Friday, Feb. 20, 2015, to find three teenage girls who are missing from their homes in London and are believed to be making their way to Syria.
The girls, two of them 15 and one 16, have not been seen since Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015, when, police say, they took a flight to Istanbul. One has been named as Shamima Begum, 15, who may be traveling under the name of 17-year-old Aklima Begum, and a second as Kadiza Sultana, 16. The third girl is identified as Amira Abase, 15.
Shamima Begum loses legal bid to return home to appeal citizenship revocation
How a religious festival turned into a massacre
FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends a conference in the Saudi capital Riyadh on October 2018.
US intel report: Saudi Crown Prince responsible for approving Khashoggi operation
A Fijian rugby team serenaded workers in the Sydney hotel where they are quarantining.
See Fijian rugby team serenade quarantine staff in Australia
Previous CNN investigations established that US-made weapons were used in a series of deadly Saudi coalition attacks that killed dozens of civilians, many of them children.
During a Senate hearing Tuesday, Shaheen, a New Hampshire Democrat, cited CNN’s reporting as she quizzed US Central Command head Gen. Joseph Votel.
“There is a recent CNN report that suggest that weapons provided to UAE and Saudi Arabia have ended up in the hands of Houthis,” the Democrat said, referring to Iranian-backed rebels in Yemen.
In response, Votel said that withdrawing US support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen would remove the “leverage we have to continue to influence them” and could further endanger Americans in the region.
The military was “looking more closely at the allegations” in CNN’s report, Votel said.
After CNN presented its findings, a US defense official confirmed Monday that there was an ongoing investigation into the issue.