News Release

Trump Administration Circumventing Congress on Arms to Saudi Arabia While Knowing Civilians Are Being Targeting

MOHAMAD BAZZI, mohamad.bazzi at nyu.edu, @BazziNYU

Bazzi has written extensively on the war in Yemen. He said today: “On Friday afternoon, the Trump administration stated it plans to circumvent Congress to sell billions in new weapons to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. U.S. officials have known for years that the Saudi/UAE coalition deliberately targets civilians in Yemen with U.S. weapons.”

Bazzi is a journalism professor at New York University, a former Middle East bureau chief at Newsday and a former Council on Foreign Relations fellow. He is currently writing a book on the proxy wars between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

He recently wrote for The Nation that Trump’s public statements on Saudi killing in Yemen reflect “a narrative that has been gaining traction for years among U.S. officials and in sectors of the Western media: that the Saudis and their allies in the Yemen war, especially the United Arab Emirates, are killing civilians and destroying infrastructure by mistake. But this is not true. The Saudi coalition has targeted civilians and the country’s infrastructure by design since it intervened in Yemen’s civil war in March 2015. It’s not that the Saudis and their allies don’t know how to use American-made weapons or need help in choosing targets — they’re using them as intended. And American officials have known this for years.”

Also see Bazzi’s recent piece “The heart of the U.S.-Saudi relationship lies in the Kushner-prince friendship.”