US cancels transfer of munitions to Saudi Arabia: Report
Iran Press TV
Tue Dec 13, 2016 5:56PM
Washington has canceled the transfer of some arms to Saudi Arabia, amid worldwide criticism about civilian deaths and destruction from the Kingdom's military aggression in Yemen.
"We have made clear that US security cooperation is not a blank check," a senior administration official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
"Consequently, we have decided to not move forward with some foreign military sales (FMS) cases for munitions," the source told the news agency.
"This reflects our continued, strong concerns with the flaws in the coalition's targeting practices and overall prosecution of the air campaign in Yemen."
At least 11,400 people have died as the result of the Saudi campaign in the kingdom's impoverished neighbor since March 2015, according to the latest tally by a Yemeni monitoring group.
The offensive was launched to undermine the Ansarullah movement and reinstate Yemen's former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh.
The Pentagon has been providing logistic and surveillance support to Saudi Arabia in its military aggression against Yemen.
The administration of US President Barack Obama offered Riyadh $115 billion in arms sales back in September. The offer, which included weapons, military equipment and training, was the highest the US had offered in its 71-year alliance with the monarchy.
However, a bipartisan group of senators drafted a resolution in that month to block the sale. Additionally, 64 US lawmakers signed a letter decrying the sale of cluster munitions to the kingdom.
Arms control advocates were infuriated by a US Department of Defense announcement in August that it would be selling 1,300 cluster bombs to the Saudis, worth some $641 million.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has reportedly hired a powerful former congressman, former California Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon, to lobby the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump on arms sales to Riyadh.
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