The administration of US
President Barack Obama has offered Saudi Arabia
$115 billion in arms sales, a report seen by Reuters
The offer, including weapons, other military equipment and training, is the highest the United States
has offered in its 71-year alliance with the monarchy, the agency reported Wednesday.
Authored by William Hartung of the US-based Center for International Policy, the report said the offers were made in 42 separate deals and most of what they consist are yet to be delivered.
According to Reuters, “US arms offers to Saudi Arabia since Obama took office in January 2009 have included everything from small arms and ammunition to tanks, attack helicopters, air-to-ground missiles, missile defense ships, and warships. Washington also provides maintenance and training to Saudi security forces.”
Yemenis stand at the site of an airstrike by Saudi airplanes in the capital Sana’a on September 4, 2016. (AFP)
Hartung’s report was based on data from the Defense Security Cooperation Agency.
“It’s time for the Obama administration to use the best leverage it has – Saudi Arabia’s dependence on U.S. weapons and support – to wage the war in Yemen
in the first place,” Hartung said. “The more recent deals that have involved resupplying Saudi Arabia with ammunition, bombs, and tanks to replace weaponry used up or damaged in the war in Yemen
are no doubt driven in part by the effort to ‘reassure’ the Saudis that the U.S. will not tilt towards Iran in the wake of the nuclear deal.”
He further suggested that, “Pulling back the current offer of battle tanks or freezing some of the tens of billions in weapons and services in the pipeline would send a strong signal to the Saudi leadership that they need stop their indiscriminate bombing campaign and take real steps to prevent civilian casualties.”
Saudi Arabia has been incessantly pounding Yemen since March 2015, with the UN putting the death toll from the military aggression at about 10,000.
According to the Control Arms Coalition, a group that is campaigning against arms sales, Britain, France and the US are violating the 2014 Arms Trade Treaty by exporting conventional weapons to a country engaged in war crimes.
Last month, the Obama administration approved a potential $1.15 billion arms package for the Saudi monarchy.