US Announces $1 Billion in Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia

24 March, 2018, 14:15 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Jim Mattis

Mattis spoke at the start of a Pentagon meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is on a three-week US visit.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis (left) welcomes Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman (right) to the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, on March 22.

Prince Mohammed had embarked on Tuesday on an official 18-day visit to the US.

At the start of Bin Salman's trip to the US, President Donald Trump called on him to "share" his country's wealth.

Donald Trump Mohammed bin Salman

The next biggest covers spare parts and maintenance for the Saudi ground forces' pool of US-built Abram tanks, Bradley fighting vehicles, LAV armored vehicles, howitzers and Humvees.

The online publication cited a senior Western official and a source close to the Saudi royal family that Kushner has communicated directly with both the Saudi and Emirati crown princes on WhatsApp, a popular messaging app owned by Facebook.

The proposed sale is bound to be questioned by Congress where the Senate this week rejected a bipartisan effort to halt U.S. military support for the bombing campaign in Yemen.

Mattis told reporters he was also going to bring up the need to reduce civilian casualties when meeting the prince.

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Yemen's Houthi militia group on Friday claimed to have fired a "ballistic missile" at an army position in Saudi Arabia's southwestern Jizan region, according to Yemen's Houthi-run SABA news agency. That is the bottom line.

"Not necessarily specifically safe haven but talking about (looking) at ways to help facilitate a political reconciliation for those Taliban members who are willing to talk".

While all parties in the Yemen war are accused of neglecting civilian safety, the Saudi-led coalition, which intervened on the side of the government in 2015, is behind "the latest in a long string of potential war crimes" documented by Amnesty, said the London-based rights group.

The United States has formally approved defence contracts totalling more than $1 billion with Saudi Arabia, as the kingdom's crown prince continued his American tour.

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North Korea has been notified of the schedule "as well as the defensive nature" of the exercises, the Pentagon said. Last year, Foal Eagle began on March 1 and continued until the end of April, lasting a total of two months.

"The Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has requested to buy up to six-thousand-six-hundred (6,600) TOW 2B missiles (BGM-71F-Series) and ninety-six (96) TOW 2B (BGM-71F-Series) fly-to-buy lot validation missiles".

White added that Saudi Arabia expressed an interest in doing greater training with U.S. forces, and noted that Trump had been hastening military sales to the kingdom.

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