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U.S. State Department Approves First Major Arms Sale To Saudi Arabia Under Biden Administration

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U.S. State Department Approves First Major Arms Sale To Saudi Arabia Under Biden Administration

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On November 4th, the U.S. State Department approved its first major arms sale to Saudi Arabia under U.S. President Joe Biden.

The deal is for 280 air-to-air missiles valued at up to $650 million, the Pentagon said.

The Pentagon notified Congress of the sale on November 4th.

“We’ve seen an increase in cross-border attacks against Saudi Arabia over the past year.  Saudi AIM-120C missiles, deployed from Saudi aircraft, have been instrumental in intercepting these attacks that also U.S. forces at risk and over 70,000 U.S. citizens in the Kingdom at risk.”

Basically, the US could argue that this is a purely “defensive” purchase that can’t be used to engage ground targets and notably kill civilians, for which Saudi Arabia is infamous at this point.

“The AIM-120C is an Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile which is not used to engage ground targets.

We are moving forward with notifying Congress of this proposed sale to replenish Saudi Arabia’s existing inventory in keeping with the President’s commitment to support the territorial defense of Saudi Arabia.”

Now Congress needs to vote on it. If approved, the deal would be the first sale to Saudi Arabia since the Biden administration adopted a policy of selling only defensive weapons to the Gulf ally.

The sale “is fully consistent with the administration’s pledge to lead with diplomacy to end the conflict in Yemen,” the State Department spokesperson said in a statement. The air-to-air missiles ensure “Saudi Arabia has the means to defend itself from Iranian-backed Houthi air attacks,” he said.

After the Trump administration’s friendly relationship with Riyadh, the Biden administration recalculated its approach to Saudi Arabia, a country with which it has severe human rights concerns, but also a key ally in Washington’s attempts to contain Iran.

The package would include 280 AIM-120C-7/C-8 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM), 596 LAU-128 Missile Rail Launchers (MRL) along with containers and support equipment, spare parts, U.S. Government and contractor engineering and technical support.

This comes amid harsh criticism against Saudi Arabia for its military onslaught on Yemen. The kingdom, backed by the US and regional allies, launched a war on Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of former Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing Ansarullah movement.

It also comes at a time when the Kingdom needs any help it can get, as the Houthis it fights against in Yemen have had a string of significant success in the past several months. The strategic and oil-rich city of Ma’rib is likely to fall soon and that would be a massive impediment to Saudi Arabia’s adventure in Yemen.

Prior to February’s announcement, the Biden administration imposed a temporary freeze on all arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates pending a review of deals inked during the tenure of former President Donald Trump.


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Gigantic Dildo

Nice for stinky houthi hunt.


erm… where are they going to find flying Houthis… to hunt with AAMs?

Last edited 29 days ago by Garga
camera obscura

Did you even read first line? Air to Air missiles. For launching from an AIRCRAFT at another AIRCRAFT!


This sales is as a direct result of Iran-Saudi talks dead-end: Apparently something funny happened in the negotiations.
Saudis hoped that Iran will “order” Ansarallah to stop kicking Saudi butts if they say “pretty please” or promise to give something worthless in return in the future.
They asked us to do it since the first round of negotiations and in each round we responded that we’ll talk about it the next round or after we solve these initial issues.
In the last session when they cried and asked again, our boys told them (with a grin, I imagine!) that Iran’s relations with Ansarallah is not something like that, we just morally support them and we cannot “order” them to do anything, but if the Saudi side still insists, they can always ask Hezbollah and Seyyed Hassan to “ask” Houthis if such thing is possible because Hezbollah has excellent relations with Ansarallah and can speak to them because of close friendship.

Naturally the talks ended quickly and Saudis (crying and raging, hahaha!!) threw that tantrum about the Lebanese minister. I guess that was the best thing they could do.

Needless to say, such request was designed as some form of entrapment for Iran (I’m not sure Saudis are even smart enough to think such dumb plot, it smells like something American). They reasoned if Iran accepts and does so, the butt-kicking will stop and they’ll move to use it as an evidence to accuse Iran of direct involvement in the Yemen war to receive more concessions. If Iran refused, they’ll say so you have nothing of value for us and try to beat Iran into a corner and ultimately force themselves as a party to the JCPoA deal.

Too bad for them that they don’t possess thousands years of statecraft wisdom! ;)

PS. Writing a comment is turning into an art form. I cannot write anything unless I write one word and then edit it quickly. Just noticed that our resident scammers do the same. Truly those are a helluva smart bots!

Last edited 29 days ago by Garga
Wahabi Anglo Conspiracy

@Southfront You forgot to mention the tons of machetes and barrels of acid to dismember and dissolve democratic journalists and students.

Peter Wallace

War is fun if you are the one making the bombs.

Peter Wallace

Not sure why they are blocking the other part of this comment . :-(

Peter Wallace

and the cream is selling to other countries and push them to use them so they buy more.

Peter Wallace

So why are they upset over “not mayking munny ef their iz know wore. ??

camera obscura

Its just an old skool mafioso protection racket – the US allow al-Sauds to continue operating their phony monarchy, and viscous repression of Saudi’s, in exchange for large protection payments, in form of export order contracts that keep the US military industrial production lines running and profitable. Protection and money laundering all in one, via arms export orders.

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