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Sen. Murphy calls on congress to block $1B military equipment sale to Saudi Arabia

HARTFORD--In the most recent development regarding U.S. politics and Saudi Arabia, a Connecticut senator is calling on Congress to block a massive military equipment sale.

Last week, we reported that President Obama vetoed legislation passed by both houses of Congress allowing families of the victims of September 11 and other terrorist attacks to sue foreign governments, specifically Saudi Arabia. Of the 19 highjackers on September 11, 2001, 15 were Saudis.

Now, the Pentagon has proposed $1.15 billion sale of military equipment to Saudi Arabia, including tanks, guns and ammunition. However, Sen. Chris Murphy, among others from both sides of the aisle, say we should not proceed with such a sale.

"Saudi Arabia is an important partner, but their war in Yemen, funded by the U.S., has become a disaster that is making our country less safe every day. Thousands of civilians are being killed, and terrorist groups inside the country, like al Qaeda and ISIS, are getting stronger. Until the Saudis' conduct changes, the United States should put a pause on further arms sales," said Murphy in a statement.

The war in Yemen is an effort by Saudi Arabia to restore the former government, which was overtaken by Houthi rebels.

A vote on the bipartisan resolution against the sale is expected next week.

The civil war in Yemen has left thousands of civilians dead, and various human rights groups have protested the deadly airstrikes that have caused many of the deaths. Those airstrikes were from a Saudi-led coalition using U.S. military equipment, and hit schools and hospitals. The Saudis insist these buildings are used by Yemeni rebels.

Sen. Murphy argues the deaths of so many civilians is only helping expand extremist groups like al Quaeda.

"We should not be sending weapons to a country not interested in fighting extremism with us. Right now, Saudi Arabia is hurting us as much as it's helping us when it comes to fighting extremism," Murphy said. "My first job as a U.S. senator is making sure another 9/11 doesn't happen," he added.

In April, FOX 61 spoke to Murphy on the same topic. At that time he said, "If our number one priority is fighting ISIS and fighting al Qaeda, which it should be, then why are we funding a civil war that's creating more space for ISIS and al Qaeda?"