Largest U.S. Saudi arms deal despite Saudi-led war crimes in Yemen

Largest U.S. Saudi arms deal despite Saudi-led war crimes in Yemen
Sun May 21, 2017 09:08:59

Trump has signed an unprecedented arms deal with Saudi Arabia worth billions of dollars amid international fears of using the weapons against the defenseless people of Yemen.

(theweek) -- The United States and Saudi Arabia have sealed an arms deal worth $350 billion over the next decade, the White House said Saturday, on the occasion of President Trump's first visit to Riyadh since taking office. The deal was partially negotiated by Trump's son-in-law and senior White House adviser Jared Kushner, who reportedly called the CEO of defense contractor Lockheed Martin and asked her to lower the price of a missile detection system while meeting with Saudi officials earlier this month.

The immediate sale is worth $110 billion and includes "Abrams tanks, combat ships, missile defense systems, radar, and communications and cyber security technology," officials familiar with the package told The Associated Press Friday. “When completed, it will be the largest single arms deal in American history," said Vice Admiral Joe Rixey, chief of the Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency.

Riyadh is expected to use at least some of the weapons in its military intervention in Yemen, where the Saudi-led coalition has been accused of war crimes. Human rights advocates have warned that the deal risks making the United States complicit, though the U.S. is already offering logistical support to the intervention.

Saudi Arabia also announced business deals totaling $55 billion with U.S. companies in the energy and chemical sectors Saturday, presenting the deals to Trump shortly after he arrived.

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