18-02-2020 09:28 PM Jerusalem Timing

US Approves $1.3bn Smart Bombs Deal with Saudi Arabia

US Approves $1.3bn Smart Bombs Deal with Saudi Arabia

The US State Department has signed off on the deal to sell $1.29 billion worth of smart bombs to Saudi Arabia, according to the Pentagon. The 22,000 bombs are to be used in the Saudis’ military campaigns in Yemen and Syria.

US smart bombsThe US State Department has signed off on the deal to sell $1.29 billion worth of smart bombs to Saudi Arabia, according to the Pentagon. The 22,000 bombs are to be used in the Saudis’ military campaigns in Yemen and Syria.

The Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency, in charge of overseeing foreign arms sales, said in a statement that deal with the Saudis has been approved. The US Congress still has 30 days to block the deal, but is unlikely to do so.

The agency said that the sale would keep the Royal Saudi Air Force from running out of weapons, as well as provide sufficient weapons stocks for its military campaign in Yemen and Syria.

“This acquisition will help sustain strong military-to-military relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia, improve [the ability of Saudi forces to work] with the United States, and enable Saudi Arabia to meet regional threats and safeguard the world's largest oil reserves,” the statement said.

According to RT website, the $1.29 billion deal consists of 22,000 smart and general purpose bombs, which include 1,000 GBU-10 Paveway II laser guided bombs, as well as over 5,000 Joint Direct Attack Munitions kits, which convert older bombs into precision-guided weapons via GPS.

The sale comes after President Barack Obama promised in May to work with Persian Gulf Arab States on increased security cooperation, particularly “on fast-tracking arms transfers… counter terrorism, maritime security, cybersecurity and ballistic missile defense.”

Persian Gulf States have shown increased interest in US weaponry following the nuclear agreement reached with Iran in July.

In October, the US government approved an $11 billion sale to Saudi Arabia for up to four Lockheed Martin Corp.’s warships, along with weapons, training and logistics support. In September, Washington approved a $5.4 billion sale of 600 advanced Patriot missiles to Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia has been striking Yemen for 236 days now to restore power to fugitive President Abed Rabbu Mansour Hadi. The Saudi-US aggression has so far killed at least 6,579 Yemenis, including hundreds of women and children.

Despite Riyadh’s claims that it is bombing the positions of the Yemeni national military, Saudi warplanes are flattening residential areas and civilian infrastructures.