Washington [US]: The United States on Friday confirmed approval of USD8.1 billion in arms transfers to Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates amid hostilities with Iran.
The equipment includes aircraft support maintenance; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; munitions; and other supplies, reported Sputnik.
“Today, acting in accordance with the authority granted to us by Congress, I made a determination under the Arms Export Control Act to formally notify Congress of 22 arms sales to Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. These directly protect U.S. citizens and our partners,” tweeted US Secretary of State Pompeo.
“We presented some of these sales almost 18 months ago to Congress, but it has failed to act. The U.S. is and must remain, a reliable security partner in the Gulf and to our allies around the world. It’s fundamental to our national security,” he added.
This comes hours after a US Senator Bob Menendez said that US President Donald Trump administration has invoked a provision in US Sales arms legislation that would allow the White House to sell arms to Suadi Arabia by bypassing Congress.
Defying the Congress demand, Trump had publicly stated that he would not end support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen.
US President Donald Trump last month vetoed Congress resolution to end US involvement in the Yemen War.
This development holds significance as Washington is involved in the dangerous standoff. Its need to have strong regional allies in the region to deter Iranian “threat”.
US military is increasing its presence in the Middle East. The US has ordered carrier strike warships and B-52 bombers off the coast of Fujairah in the UAE to counter an alleged and unexplained threat from Iran.
More troops have also been deployed in the Persian Gulf, one of the world’s most strategic waterways, in what the US officials claimed was a reaction to photographs showing Iran loading missiles onto small traditional boats, The Times of Israel reported.