US okays billion dollar weapons sale to S Arabia

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Washington Dc—The United States has approved the possible sale to Saudi Arabia of up to 153 tanks, hundreds of machine guns and other military gear in a deal worth $1.15 billion, the Pentagon said Tuesday.
According to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), Riyadh had requested the possible purchase of up to 133 American M1A1/A2 Abrams tanks that would be configured to Saudi needs, plus another 20 to replace damaged tanks in their fleet.
Additionally, the deal would include 153 .50-caliber machine guns, 266 7.62mm M240 machine guns, smoke grenade launchers, armoured recovery vehicles and a range of other hardware.
The US State Department has approved the “possible” sale and notified Congress on Monday, the DSCA said.
Congress has 30 days to block the sale, though is unlikely to do so.
“This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a strategic regional partner which has been and continues to be a leading contributor of political stability and economic progress in the Middle East,” the DSCA said in a statement.
“The addition of these tanks and recovery vehicles to the (Saudi military’s) inventory will enhance Saudi Arabia’s ability to support its soldiers in the field and to defend the Kingdom’s borders.”
Last November, the United States approved a $1.29 billion deal to replenish the Saudi air force’s arsenal, depleted by its bombing campaign in Yemen.—AFP

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