US to sell Saudi Arabia 3,000 smart bombs

Washington: – The United States announced the supply of arms worth USD 290 million to Saudi. Under this, the United States will be supplying a whopping 3,000 GBU-39 SDB 1 smart bombs to Saudi. The United States has announced this assistance because of the increasing Iranian activities in the Persian Gulf and its growing tension. Meanwhile, President-elect Joe Biden has objected to Saudi Arabia’s military cooperation, by incumbent President Donald Trump. President-elect Biden also announced an intent to stop weapons export to Saudi. The US Department of State announced arms sale worth nearly USD 300 million to Saudi and the other Arab allies. The US defence headquarters Pentagon announced that this includes bombs, ammunition, allied war equipment, spares and technological assistance worth USD 290 million to Saudi. The sale of missiles worth USD 105 million to Egypt and apache helicopters to Kuwait was also announced.   

3,000 GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb 1 would be supplied to Saudi. Pentagon said that these air-to-surface smart bombs would increase the Saudi strength to defend against the existing and future threats. Pentagon claimed that the concerned bombs are precise in hitting the target, which will reduce the collateral damage.   

Other than these, only last week, the US Department of State announced the issuance of a permit for the sale of 7,500 air-to-surface bombs to Saudi Arabia. The United States also decided to supply super-advanced F-35 fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) this month. President Trump’s decisions to provide military assistance to the Arab allies, in the Gulf, are viewed against the background of the increasing tension with Iran.  

These are the last few days of President Trump’s tenure. Iran warned the Arab countries in the Gulf, reminding them that Iran will continue to be their neighbour even after that. Iran has also increased its naval movements in the Persian Gulf since the last few days. Iran has deployed air defence system on one of the islands in the Strait of Hormuz. This has increased the tension in this marine region. Therefore, the Trump administration in the United States has decided to equip its Arab allies in the Gulf region.  

President-elect Joe Biden and the US Congress have criticised the decision taken by President Trump to export weapons to Saudi Arabia and UAE. There is a thick possibility that President-elect Biden will reverse the decision to supply arms to Saudi and UAE after taking over the United States’ reins. Biden had blamed both these countries of war crimes in the Yemen conflict.   

Meanwhile, President-elect Joe Biden will be signing a new nuclear deal with Iran. But Saudi Arabia had warned that Biden should take the Arab countries into confidence before going ahead with the nuclear deal with Iran. 

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