Deutch, Engel Request Urgent Yemen Briefing Following Reports of Unauthorized Transfers of US-Origin Military Equipment & Spread of Islamic State
On October 23, 2019, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot L. Engel and House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa, and International Terrorism Chairman Ted Deutch led a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper requesting an urgent briefing on reports that U.S.-origin military equipment provided to the United Arab Emirates ended up in the hands of secessionist forces in Yemen. The letter also expresses concern that the Islamic State is exploiting unrest in southern Yemen.
A copy of the signed letter can be accessed here.
The letter states, "We request an urgent briefing from you on the reported unauthorized transfer of U.S.-origin weapons and equipment, including an update on any current investigations by the Department of Defense and/or the Department of State, the status of the Islamic State in Yemen, any steps the United States is taking in response to these allegations, and how bilateral agreements and end-use monitoring will improve in the future."
The letter was signed by House Foreign Affairs Committee members Representatives Lieu, Cicilline, Wild, Espillat, Omar, Keating, Sires, Gonzalez, Titus, Trone, and Bera.
“I am very concerned by reports that U.S. weapons provided to the UAE ended up in the hands of secessionist forces and that the Islamic State exploited recent unrest in southern Yemen," said Chairman Deutch. "This is not the first instance of unauthorized transfers of U.S.-origin weapons and equipment in Yemen. The Trump Administration must explain to Congress what it is doing in response to these reports and how it plans to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future.”
“The Trump Administration must provide answers for how U.S. weapons have wound up in the hands of Yemen secessionist forces and ISIS terrorist fighters. We will not rest until we have transparency and accountability for this fiasco,” said Chairman Engel.