CNN: “Saudi Arabia Building Ballistic Missiles with China’s Help”

CNN Pic © planet/Middleburry Institute of International Studies27.12.2021 Asia
CNN: “Saudi Arabia Building Ballistic Missiles with China’s Help”

CNN: “Saudi Arabia Building Ballistic Missiles with China’s Help”

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CNN reported that US intelligence agencies have assessed that Saudi Arabia is now actively manufacturing its own ballistic missiles with the help of China.

Saudi Arabia is known to have purchased ballistic missiles from China in the past but has never been able to build its own - until now, according to three sources familiar with the latest intelligence. Satellite images obtained by CNN also suggest the Kingdom is currently manufacturing the weapons in at least one location.

US officials at numerous agencies, including the National Security Council at the White House, have been briefed in recent months on classified intelligence revealing multiple large-scale transfers of sensitive ballistic missile technology between China and Saudi Arabia, according to two sources familiar with the latest assessments.

The Biden administration is now confronted with increasingly urgent questions about whether Saudi’s ballistic missile advancements could dramatically change regional power dynamics and complicate efforts to expand the terms of a nuclear deal with Iran to include restraints on its own missile technology -- a goal shared by the US, Europe, Israel and Gulf countries.

The National Security Council and CIA declined to comment.

CNN first reported in 2019 that US intelligence agencies were aware that Saudi Arabia was collaborating with China to advance its ballistic missile program.

New satellite images obtained by CNN indicate the Saudis are already manufacturing ballistic missiles at a site previously constructed with Chinese assistance, according to experts who analyzed the photos and sources who confirmed they reflect advancements that are consistent with the latest US intelligence assessments.

Satellite photos taken by Planet, a commercial imaging company, between October 26 and November 9 show a burn operation occurred at a facility near Dawadmi, Saudi Arabia, according to researchers at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, who told CNN this is “the first unambiguous evidence that the facility is operating to produce missiles.”

Still, little is known about the ballistic missiles that Saudi Arabia is building at this site, including important details like range and payload.

CNN first reported in 2019 that US intelligence agencies were aware that Saudi Arabia was collaborating with China to advance its ballistic missile program.

 
 
 



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