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US Democrats demand an end to arms deals with Saudi Arabia

Democratic lawmakers in the US Senate called for a halt to all previously announced arms deals with Saudi Arabia.

This came in a petition signed by Democratic representatives in the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee.

The petition calls for stopping all previously announced arms deals until they are reviewed, foremost the deals with Saudi Arabia.

Urgent deals

Last month, the administration of outgoing US President Donald Trump approved a possible arms sale to the Saudi regime.

According to a notice from the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had approved selling ammunition to the Saudi regime worth $290 million.

A statement by the agency said it had submitted a notification to Congress of the deal.

It added that the proposed sale would support “US foreign policy and national security goals by helping improve the security of a friendly country.”

According to the agency, it was approved to sell the second batch of small diameter bombs (GBU-39) from the “Boeing” model, with a $290 million value, to the Saudi regime.

This batch is estimated at 3000 bombs.

According to the agency, “the proposed deal will improve Saudi Arabia’s ability to face current and future threats by increasing its ammunition stockpile.”

It noted that the accuracy of this type of munition contributes to being effective with less collateral damage.

The potential sale will also enhance the interoperability between the US and Saudi Arabia.

The agency also pointed out that Saudi Arabia will not find it difficult to absorb these armed forces’ equipment.

Facing significant opposition

It is noted that the proposed sale of this equipment and support will not change the essential military balance in the region.

This deal is in addition to the previous license that the Trump administration recently submitted.

The first deal was to agree to allow Raytheon to sell 7,500 Paveway air-to-ground “smart” bombs directly to Saudi Arabia, with an estimated $478 million value.

The approval of the Trump administration to the deal came despite the majority of US Congressmen’s opposition.

Both Democratic and Republican parties rejected selling weapons to the Saudis, due to the thousands of civilian deaths in Yemen in the war, led by Saudi Arabia.

Many lawmakers demanded a complete review of US-Saudi relations after the Saudi journalist’s assassination and dismemberment, Jamal Khashoggi, in 2018.

Trump’s policy

Trump has made arms sales to Saudi Arabia an integral part of his foreign policy, arguing that they must confront Iran.

According to official data, the volume of US arms sales during the current year increased by 2.8% compared to the same period last year, reaching 175.08 billion dollars.

According to announced figures, the United States generated $50.78 billion in “foreign military sales” between governments, $124.3 billion in “direct commercial sales.”

The US President-elect, Joe Biden, did not publicly announce his position on the deal, but Anthony Blinken, the next Secretary of State, was chosen by Biden.

He explained before the elections that “the Biden administration will carefully study the details of the deal,” noting that “the Biden administration will work to ensure the Israeli supremacy in the Middle East.”

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