Donald Trump passed the bill in the US Senate for $8.1 billion arms deal made with Jordan, UAE, and Saudi Arabia. The USA is eager to bash the so-called “imminent threat” Iran. Lawmakers have suspected that the weapons will be used in Yemen.
The Saudi-led war in Yemen is not an emergency, it is a crime against humanity, Senator Dianne Feinstein said in a statement.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the administration would circumvent the required review by Congress to approve 22 arms transfers to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Jordan. Saying that the freeze on sales by Congress could affect the Arab allies’ operational abilities. He also said that “The weapons, which include munitions and aircraft support maintenance, are meant to deter Iranian aggression and build partner self-defense capacity.”
Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement.
“I am disappointed, but not surprised, that the Trump administration has failed once again to prioritize our long-term national security interests or stand up for human rights, and instead is granting favors to authoritarian countries like Saudi Arabia.”
Opposition to the arms sale was not limited to Democrats. Congressman Michael McCaul, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, termed Trump’s decision “unfortunate,” saying in a statement that the move “will damage certain future congressional interactions.”
Carolyn Miles, president of relief group Save the Children pointed out that the deal will worsen the situation for kids already starving in Yemen. Several senators and activist recalled Khashoggi’s murder and US values.
Pompeo defended US narrative stating that Saudi Arabia is at the hit list of Houthi Rebels. Houthi rocket and drone attacks in Saudi Arabia could kill Americans from taking a commercial flight.