U.S. to proceed with Mideast arms sales

April 13, 2011 - 0:0

The Obama administration has decided to proceed with the sale of advanced weaponry to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in two of the largest-ever arms sales.

The Deputy Director of the Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Richard Genaille, said Monday that Saudi Arabia's $60 billion purchase of 84 new F-15 fighter jets, 190 helicopters and a wide array of missiles, bombs and delivery systems, as well as accessories such as night-vision goggles and radar warning systems have been approved and is proceeding without delay, Bloomberg reported.
The Pentagon official added that the purchase by the United Arab Emirates of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile systems, worth nearly 7 billion dollars, has also been cleared to proceed.
The U.S. Defense Department expects fiscal year 2011 arms exports to exceed $46 billion compared with about $37.9 billion in the previous fiscal year.
The report comes as Riyadh and Abu Dhabi have assisted Bahrain's Al Khalifa regime to reinforce its brutal crackdown against anti-government demonstrators.
“The Saudis are using American equipment: American tanks, American soldier carriers and they are also using the Apache helicopters, which are American,” a Bahraini opposition leader, Saeed al-Shahabi, has told Press TV.
On Monday, Saudi-backed Bahraini forces arrested clerics Sayyed Mohammad al-Alawi and Sheikh Abdul Adim al-Mohtadi in the capital Manama.
It comes after the Bahraini government dismissed 30 doctors and 150 health ministry workers for supporting anti-government protests.
Saudi Arabia dispatched thousands of troops to neighboring Bahrain in mid-March to help quell month-old protest rallies seeking to break al-Khalifa dynasty's monopoly on power.
Saudi and other Arab rulers fear that any concession by Bahrain's rulers could embolden more protests against their own despotic rulers.
This is while the U.S. military, which has its Fifth Fleet based in Bahrain, has avoided describing the foreign troop intervention in the country as an invasion.
Bahraini demonstrators maintain that they will hold their ground until their demands for freedom, constitutional monarchy as well as a proportional voice in the government are met.
Scores of protesters have been killed and many others gone missing since the beginning of the Bahrain revolution.
(Source: Press TV)
Photo: Saudi Arabia to buy 84 new U.S. F-15 fighter jets