U.S. Senate was expected to get a briefing on Saudi Arabia next week from administration officials, according to reports by U.S. media on Saturday.
An “all-senators briefing” was likely to occur next week when the lawmakers convened again in Washington following the Thanksgiving holiday recess, U.S. political media The Hill reported, citing two congressional sources.
The briefing, in which some senior government officials will participate, was vital for Congress decision on whether to impose sanctions on or blocking a major arms sale to Riyadh, an important ally to Washington in the Middle East.
The briefing will focus on the conflict in Yemen as well as the kingdom’s role in the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, according to the report.
Khashoggi has been missing since he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. The Saudi authorities said Khashoggi died in a “brawl” in its consulate.
After releasing the results of its initial investigation, the Saudi Public Prosecution announced that 18 Saudis were arrested for their alleged connections with the killing.
The U.S. Congress has urged a thorough investigation into the murder of Khashoggi, and threatened to take more actions against Saudi Arabia if those responsible were not held accountable, such as suspending the U.S. military sales to Saudi Arabia and sanctioning the kingdom.
Meanwhile, the U.S. administration has been reluctant to further punish the Saudi side, citing alliance concerns and Saudi purchase of U.S. military equipment.
The U.S. Treasury imposed sanctions on 17 individuals over their alleged roles in the killing of Khashoggi earlier this month, following U.S. State Department’s decision in late October to revoke 21 Saudi suspects’ visas.
The military conflict in Yemen began with the 2014 takeover of the capital of Sanaa by the Houthis, which forced Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi into exile. The Saudi-led coalition allied with the government has been fighting the Houthis since 2015.