WASHINGON-- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi released a statement Saturday chastising President Donald Trump’s decision to deploy troops to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, saying Trump is turning a ”blind eye to Saudi Arabia’s continued violence.”
Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said Friday the U.S. will send troops to the Middle East in response to an attack last weekend on Saudi Arabian oil facilities, but officials offered few specifics about the scope of that response. He reiterated statements that evidence gathered showed Iran was responsible for the attacks.
Esper said requests for assistance had been made by Saudi Arabia and U.A.E., and that “the president has approved the deployment of U.S. forces, which will be defensive in nature and primarily focused on air and missile defense.”
“President Trump’s plan to accelerate the delivery of military equipment to Saudi Arabia and UAE, and to deploy additional U.S. forces to the region is the latest outrageous attempt by the Trump Administration to circumvent the bipartisan, bicameral will of Congress. These unacceptable actions are cause for alarm,” Pelosi wrote, highlighting Congress’ adopted resolutions to block arms sales to Saudia Arabia and U.A.E.
Pelosi also emphasized Saudia Arabia's “continued assault on countless men, women and children,'' as well as criticizing the president for “turning a blind eye” to the “continued violence against innocent Yemenis, as well as its horrific murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and its gross abuses of human rights, which represent a moral and humanitarian crisis.
"The United States cannot enable more brutality and bloodshed," she continued.
Blaming Iran for a "significant escalation of violence," Esper said nations in the region requested U.S. assistance and further described the mission as "defensive." Officials saying it would be a "moderate" deployment and "not thousands" of troops.
“Americans are weary of war, and have no interest in entering another Middle East conflict,” Pelosi reiterated, “particularly on behalf of Saudi Arabia.”