After the U.S. Congress timidly denounced the large U.S. role in Saudi Arabia’s brutal siege and bombing of Yemen, the Kingdom is set to purchase billions of dollars worth of precision guided munitions from top U.S. defense contractors.
Raytheon and Boeing were given the bid for their expertise in producing these munitions. Both companies are part of the US$110 billion weapons agreement that was reached between the Kingdom and the U.S. during President Donald Trump’s visit to Riyadh.
Both companies declined to comment on a request put forward by Reuters.
Weapon sales are approved by the U.S. Congress, and following their recent outcry against the violence in Yemen supported by the U.S., the deal may be abruptly cancelled. This deal has yet to move before Congress.
“We do not comment to confirm or deny sales until they are formally notified to Congress,” a State Department official said, adding the U.S. government will take into account factors “including regional balance and human rights as well as the impact on the U.S. defense industrial base.”
The Saudi-led coalition has been waging a heavy bombing campaign, as well as a blockade of Yemen since 2014, in an effort to reinstall the ousted Yemeni government after Houthi rebels took power.
Al-Mayadeen has recently reported disturbing figures regarding the conflict in Yemen. According to findings, 7 million face famine, 4,125 civilians have been confirmed killed as a result of the conflict, including more than 1,200 children, on top of more than 7,000 injured.
Nearly all civilian casualties have resulted from the Saudi-led coalition’s aggression.
The conflict has also spawned a dire epidemic of cholera and other preventable conditions. Reports suggest that 14.8 million lack proper medical access, 2.2 million children suffer from acute malnutrition, and more than 900 thousand people are reported to have suffered from the cholera outbreak.
The conflict has also left 3.27 million displaced, half of them being children.
The United Nations has denounced the Saudi-led intervention and blockade and commentators have called the situation “the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.”
Saudi Arabia has routinely denied the well-documented war crimes committed by its forces or obfuscated findings by blaming Yemeni militants.
Prince Khalid bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the U.S., said that the Kingdom will follow through with the exorbitant arms deal agreed on though he is not aware of this particular deal.
The Trump administration has pushed the arms deal for the revenue it would generate for the U.S. economy, citing job creation and growth.