The Islamist theocracy Saudi Arabia is getting heavy ammunition equaling billions of dollars from the United States. It remains to be seen whether this economic booster shot for the U.S. defense industry will lead to consequences in Syria. The Saudis are fighting covertly against the Russians.
The U.S. government has approved a multibillion dollar arms deal with Saudi Arabia. In order to strengthen its air force, the Islamist monarchy wants to purchase more than 19,000 bombs, which would total up to 1.29 billion dollars (1.19 billion euros). This was confirmed by the State Department in Washington on Monday. Although the final word from the U.S. Congress is still pending, it’s likely that the approval will go through.
Saudi Arabia is one of the United States’ key allies in the Middle East. The agreement on Iran’s nuclear program has caused tension in the relationship. Saudi Arabia is engaged in a power struggle with Tehran for control in the Gulf. The Saudi Arabian air force is launching air attacks in Yemen, whose government is not accepted by the Saudis. These attacks are recognized by the international community as unlawful.
The Saudis play a special role in Syria. They sit at the table at the Syrian peace talks in Vienna, when in fact, it is they who support the terrorists who are in a fight against the Russians. It’s unclear whether the Saudis are acting on behalf of the Americans. In any case, it can’t be ruled out that those U.S.-provided bombs will eventually be used in Syria, too.
In Saudi Arabia, human rights apply only in the context of a religious fundamentalist theocracy. Up to this point, protests out of the EU and the U.S. have been only scarcely perceived.
The arms shipment includes some 12,000 bombs with a combat weight of 500 to 2000 pounds, 1500 bunker-busting bombs, and more than 6,000 laser-guided precision bombs. According to Washington data, bomb arsenal from the Saudi Arabian armed forces will be heavily taxed by “the high level of deployment in several anti-terrorist operations”. Saudi Arabia participates in the U.S.-led air strikes against the Islamic State jihadi militia in Syria.
Originally appeared at German Economic News. Translated by Susan Neumann.