The “Defense News” website quoted informed sources as saying that the administration of the new US President, Joe Biden, has decided to freeze the sale of two batches of precision warfare munitions worth 760 million dollars to Saudi Arabia.
“The Biden administration has frozen for an unspecified time the sale of two batches of high-precision ammunition to Saudi Arabia, worth $ 760 million, as part of the new policy aimed at stopping violence in Yemen,” the website said.
The site stated that the decision includes two deals, and the first agreement, which was approved in December 2020 by the US State Department, is to sell 3 thousand GBU-39 small-diameter bombs manufactured by Boeing for 290 million dollars.
The second deal, worth $ 478 million, includes the sale of 7,000 high-precision guided bombs launched from “Paveway IV” aircraft manufactured by Raytheon Technologies.
Boeing did not comment on these developments, but Raytheon Technologies CEO Greg Hess told investors in a January 26 phone call that his company was giving up an “offensive weapons system” to an unspecified buyer in the Middle East that it did not believe was. It will be granted permission by the new US administration.
The report indicated that it is not unlikely that the remaining arms sales to Saudi Arabia will be frozen or canceled in the future, in light of the Biden administration’s announcement of a full review of the related deals concluded by the team of his predecessor, former President Donald Trump, who paid for the sale of several types of military equipment to the Kingdom despite the objections of Congress. .
In this context, the website quoted a White House spokesman: “All arms sales to Saudi Arabia will return to the framework of conventional operations and orders.”
The report pointed out that these developments come after Biden announced, on Thursday, that his country would stop supporting the Saudi-led Arab coalition operations in Yemen.
But this policy opens the door to arms sales that are vital to ensuring the kingdom’s ability to defend itself.
On January 27, Washington announced that the Biden administration had temporarily froze some arms sales to the UAE and Saudi Arabia to review these agreements.
These steps come after Biden pledged during his election campaign to prevent the use of American weapons in the military operations in Yemen launched by the Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia, in which the UAE is the second largest force, knowing that the conflict in this poor Arab country has claimed the lives of thousands of people and sparked widespread famine. A humanitarian crisis is one of the worst in the world.
Democrat Biden took office as the 46th US president on January 20, after winning the presidential elections over his predecessor, Republican Trump, whose relations between Riyadh and Washington during his presidency witnessed a significant improvement, especially in light of the unification of their positions towards Iran.
Source: “Defense News” + agencies