Non-binding Senate resolution condemns MBS for Khashoggi murder
A scathing resolution has been introduced by a bipartisan group of US senators who have strongly condemned Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) for ordering the assassination of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Iran Press/America: The draft resolution also lashes out at Mohammed bin Salman for his direct involvement in creating the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, according to various reports by mainstream US media.
It is worth noting that over 22 million Yemenis have been placed on the brink of starvation and famine because of the long relentless war Saudi Arabia has imposed on Yemen.
Republican senators Lindsey Graham from South Carolina, Marco Rubio from Florida, Todd Young from Indiana and Democratic senators Dianne Feinstein from California, Ed Markey of Massachusetts, and Chris Coons of Delaware introduced the non-binding resolution on Wednesday, just one day after they were briefed by CIA Director Gina Haspel on the agency’s conclusions about who was behind the murder of Khashoggi.
Lindsey Graham said in a statement, “this resolution — without equivocation — definitively states that the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia was complicit in the murder of Mr. Khashoggi and has been a wrecking ball to the region jeopardizing our national security interests on multiple fronts.”
The top US senator also described the Saudi Crown Prince as "crazy and dangerous'.
The resolution directly contradicts statements from Trump administration officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who had said publicly that there is no definitive evidence or “smoking gun” connecting the Saudi crown prince to Khashoggi’s murder.
The resolution also takes issue with Saudi Arabia’s other actions in the region, such as human rights abuses related to its war in Yemen, the diplomatic and economic blockade against Qatar, and the imprisonment of political dissidents.
This is Congress’s latest challenge to the administration’s over its relationship with MBS and Saudi Arabia.
The Senate will vote next week on a bill to end the US's involvement in the conflict in Yemen, though it's still unclear it will have enough votes to pass at present.
The Trump administration has placed sanctions on 17 Saudi individuals they deem to have been involved in Khashoggi’s death, but has stopped short of laying blame directly with the crown prince himself.
Khashoggi, a one-time royal insider who had been critical of the crown prince recently, was killed after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.
After weeks of denials of any involvement in Khashoggi’s disappearance, the Riyadh regime eventually acknowledged the “premeditated” murder, but has vehemently sought to distance the heir to the throne from the case.
A Saudi prosecutor said Khashoggi's body had been dismembered, removed from the diplomatic mission and handed to an unidentified “local cooperator."
The CIA is said to have concluded that bin Salman had “probably ordered” the murder.
A highly-classified CIA assessment, seen by The Wall Street Journal, said the Saudi crown prince had sent at least 11 messages to Saud Qahtani in the hours surrounding the journalist’s killing.
A Turkish prosecutor has issued arrest warrants for two Saudi nationals close to the Crown Prince over the brutal murder of the dissident journalist.
The Istanbul Chief Prosecutor’s office said on Wednesday "there is strong suspicion that Ahmed al-Asiri and Saud al-Qahtani were among the planners of Khashoggi’s assassination inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Major General Assiri, the deputy chief of Saudi Arabia’s intelligence, and Qahtani, in charge of media affairs at the royal court, were among five high-ranking Saudi officials who were dismissed last month over the murder case.
According to Khashoggi’s friends, Qahtani, who is believed to have overseen the journalist’s murder, had previously tried to persuade him to return to the kingdom, even offering him the prospect of a government job.
The Washington Post columnist, however, had declined the offer amid worries that it could be a trap. 206/103