Trump administration approves $ 290 million bomb sale to Saudi

According to an announcement to Congress released on Tuesday, the Trump administration has approved another precise-led $ 290 million bomb sale to Saudi Arabia.

The Foreign Ministry has approved that Saudi Arabia approve 3000 Boeing-manufactured GBU-39 small diameter bomb I (SDB I) ammunition and related equipment, according to the Defense Security Agency notice

The sale, announced Tuesday, is in addition to a license the Trump administration recently extended with the approval that will allow Raytheon to sell Saudi Arabia 7,500 of its “smart” Paveway air-to-ground bombs directly at an estimated value of $ 478 million.

The arms deals come even because lawmakers in both parties are increasingly opposed to the sale of Saudi weapons amid thousands of civilian deaths in the Saudi-led war in Yemen. Many lawmakers also reached their breaking point with the kingdom when a Saudi hit team killed and disbanded journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

But President TrumpDonald Trump calls for end of ‘religious persecution worldwide’ on the 850th anniversary of Thomas Becket’s death Michael Cohen interview raises questions after mentioning prison friends ‘Tony Meatballs and Big Minty’ Ocasio-Cortez’s tracks against both Democrats and Republicans who were opposed to 000 direct payments MORE made arms sales to the kingdom an integral part of its foreign policy, arguing that it was necessary to counter Iran and to promote employment with American arms makers.

Last year, the Trump administration cracked down on an $ 8.1 billion “emergency” arms sale to the Saudis that blocked lawmakers through an informal process. Congress eventually made twofold decisions to block the sale, but Trump vetoed it.

Democrats charged that Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoBiden calls for modernizing American defense following Trump’s legacy: a lasting disregard for the truth? Nothing becomes Donald Trump’s presidency like he leaves it ANYMOREThe call for emergency authorities improperly bypassed the congressional oversight authorities. The State Department inspector general later found Pompeo was within his authority to push through the sales, but blamed him for not making sure U.S. weapons were not used against civilians.

For the deal announced Tuesday, the government argued in the announcement that the sale would support U.S. foreign policy and national security objectives by improving the security of a friendly country that remains a key force for political stability and economic growth. in the Middle East. “

‘The proposed sale will enhance Saudi Arabia’s ability to meet current and future threats by increasing its stockpile of long-precision air-to-ground ammunition. The size and accuracy of the SDB I allows for effective ammunition with less collateral damage, ” the notice reads.

Tuesday’s announcement begins a 30-day watch during which lawmakers could block the sale if they so choose.

This sets the deadline at the beginning of the Biden government, which can also stop the sale if it wants to. Elected President Joe BidenJoe Biden The mayor of Michigan criticizes Facebook messages indicating rebellion: reports Trump nominates Roisman as acting SEC chairman, Biden Interior nominee, discusses more environmental injustice with tribal leaders. promised to review US relations with Saudi Arabia.

The Trump administration advanced billions of dollars in arms sales in the waning days of Trump’s tenure, including a $ 23 billion arms package for the United Arab Emirates.

In addition to the Saudi arms sale, the Trump administration on Tuesday announced approvals for sales to Kuwait and Egypt.

For Kuwait, the government has approved the sale of eight AH-64E Apache helicopters worth $ 4 billion and $ 200 million worth of spare parts to upgrade its Patriot anti-missile system.

Egypt has been approved to buy a $ 104 million missile countermeasure system for its presidential aircraft and $ 65.6 million for 20 aircraft for military aircraft.