Massive arms deals between the US, Saudi Arabia despite the Yemeni crisis
$55.6 billion worth of weapons were sold by the US to foreign governments in fiscal 2018, reaching a 33-percent increase in comparison to the previous year’s total.
On Tuesday, Lieutenant General Charles Hooper, director of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, told Reuters that the US foreign military sales hit 55.6 billion dollars in the fiscal year ending September 30.
A report issued by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said some half of US arms exports during that period have gone to the Middle East, and that Saudi Arabia registered a 225-percent rise in military purchases – almost all from the US and Europe.
According to many reports,the massive arms sales come despite repeated international calls on the US to stop supporting the Saudis with modern weaponry, which the kingdom has used in its devastating war on Yemen
In March 2015, the US -backed –Saudi-led coalition started a war against Yemen with the declared aim of crushing the Houthi Ansarullah movement, who had taken over from the staunch Riyadh ally and fugitive former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, while also seeking to secure the Saudi border with its southern neighbor. Three years and over 600,000 dead and injured Yemeni people and prevented the patients from travelling abroad for treatment and blocked the entry of medicine into the war-torn country, the war has yielded little to that effect.
Despite the coalition claims that it is bombing the positions of the Ansarullah fighters, Saudi bombers are flattening residential areas and civilian infrastructures.
More than 2,200 others have died of cholera, and the crisis has triggered what the United Nations has described as the world’s worst humanitarian disaster.
However, Saudi Arabia relies strongly on the US in its brutal war on Yemen. Washington has deployed a commando force on the Arab kingdom’s border with Yemen to help destroy arms belonging to Yemen’s popular Houthi Ansarullah movement. Washington has also provided logistical support and aerial refueling..
The White House has also been criticized by both human rights groups and US lawmakers in Congress from both political parties for allowing its Saudi ally to bomb Yemen.
Washington has denied it is directly supplying the Saudis with weapons in the war but numerous reports have suggested that US arms have played a part in massive civilian casualties.