The United States approved arms sales worth an estimated $8 Billion to Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and some other countries after President Donald Trump used emergency authority to approve nearly two dozen such deals.
The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) put up some of the State Department approvals of the deals on its website while various US media reported that the combined value of the deals as $ 8 Billion.
The deals include the sale of mortar bombs, missiles, drones, repair and maintenance services, and precision-guided munitions.
The approval comes at a time when some US lawmakers are opposed to selling precision munitions for fear that they may be used in the war against the Houti rebels in Yemen. Saudi Arabia and UAE are fighting on the side of ousted President Abdu Rabbo Mansour Hadi in the Yemen civil war.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo notified members of Congress, including the Senate foreign relations committee, about Trump's decision to invoke the emergency authorization under the Arms Export Control Act citing ‘malign behaviour by Iran as its reasoning for the arms sales, UPI news agency reported.
Total arms sales by the US to Saudi Arabia, UAE and its Gulf allies have amounted to over $ 20 Billion in 2019 alone. Most of these arms have been bought by members of the Coalition against the Iran-backed Houti rebels and for restoring ‘legitimacy’ in Yemen.