As yet another news cycle was dominated by the latest chapter of the President Donald Trump-Stormy Daniels controversy on Thursday, the New York Times quietly published an alarming report detailing a secret U.S. Green Beret operation along Saudi Arabia's border with Yemen that was launched by the Trump White House late last year with no debate, discussion, or congressional authorization.
"I have strong concerns that the Trump administration is getting the U.S. more involved in a war in Yemen without congressional authorization."
—Sen. Bernie Sanders
Responding to the Times report on Thursday—which indicates the U.S. has significantly escalated its involvement in Saudi Arabia's war on Yemen—Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) expressed alarm at the covert activities of American special forces and said he will be demanding answers about "these activities."
"I have strong concerns that the Trump administration is getting the U.S. more involved in a war in Yemen without congressional authorization," Sanders—who in March helped lead a failed effort to halt U.S. support for Saudi Arabia's relentless and illegal assault on Yemen—wrote on Twitter. "We must prevent the U.S. from getting dragged into another never-ending war.
I have strong concerns that the Trump administration is getting the U.S. more involved in a war in Yemen without congressional authorization. I'll be seeking further clarification on these activities. We must prevent the U.S. from getting dragged into another never-ending war. https://t.co/ms9oNqsMkT
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) May 3, 2018
Sanders wasn't alone among progressives in condemning the secret military activity in Saudi Arabia.
In a tweet on Thursday, Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) wrote "our troops continue to see their involvement increase in the Saudi-led war against the Houthis" and denounced the covert operation as "an unconstitutional and unauthorized use of military force."
According to the Times—whose report was based on details provided by both U.S. officials and European diplomats—a team of around a dozen American "commandos are helping locate and destroy caches of ballistic missiles and launch sites that Houthi rebels in Yemen are using to attack Riyadh and other Saudi cities," as well as helping to train Saudi soldiers.
This secret operation directly contradicts previous claims by the Pentagon that U.S. "military assistance to the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen is limited to aircraft refueling, logistics, and general intelligence sharing," the Times notes.
In a tweet on responding to the Times report on Thursday, Ahmad Algohbary, a Yemeni freelance journalist, wrote that the secret deployment of special forces to the Saudi Arabia-Yemen border further demonstrates that the "U.S. is illegally and directly involved in the genocidal war against impoverished Yemen."