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US Approves Massive Patriot Missile Deal With Saudis After Biden ‘Rehabilitates’ MbS

On Tuesday while media headlines and the world’s attention was largely focused on Nancy Pelosi’s provocative Taiwan visit, the Biden administration quietly unveiled a massive new arms deal for Saudi Arabia and the UAE – described as the United States’ close “Middle East partners”. 

“The US State Department today approved more than $5 billion in arms deals for key Middle East partners, including $3.05 billion in Patriot missiles for Saudi Arabia and $2.25 billion in THAAD systems for the United Arab Emirates,” Breaking Defense wrote of the approval.

Likely the deal was under preparation for a long time, given its size, with President Biden’s July 15 visit to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia – where he had his infamous fist-bump greeting and meeting with a grinning crown prince Mohammed bin Salman – having sealed it. Essentially this was the Biden administration bestowing ‘forgiveness’ for the Saudi state murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

MbS even went on what was widely dubbed a “rehabilitation tour” of Europe, with official state visits to Greece and France, at a moment the West is badly in need of more oil supplies as it attempts to punish Vladimir Putin’s Russia for the ongoing Ukraine war.

So now it can be the return of “business as usual” – with the US also as usual placing emphasis on ‘countering Iran’ by supplying Gulf partners with anti-air defenses, which Riyadh has asked for amid increased long-range rocket fire from Yemen’s Houthi rebels.

“These missiles are used to defend the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s borders against persistent Houthi cross-border unmanned aerial system and ballistic missile attacks on civilian sites and critical infrastructure in Saudi Arabia,” a statement by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) reads. “These attacks threaten the well-being of Saudi, International, and U.S. citizens (approximately 70,000) residing in the Kingdom. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will have no difficulty absorbing these missiles into its armed forces.”

Despite the ‘countering Iran’ rhetoric… well, there’s also other reasons.

The DSCA further indicated the deal will cover 300 PATRIOT MIM-104E Guidance Enhanced Missile-Tactical Ballistic missiles (GEM-T) and support equipment primarily from Raytheon, with an aim toward replenishing the kingdom’s “dwindling” stockpile of Patriot missiles.

This post was originally published on this site

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