This week’s sale of $1.29 billion in U.S. “smart” bombs to Saudi Arabia will allow for “greater precision” in air strikes on militia targets, the official Spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition told AlArabiya.net.
Brigadier General Ahmed Asiri said the new weapons will allow Arab coalition forces, operating in Yemen against Houthi militias, to better avoid populated areas and infrastructure.
The sales reflect President Barack Obama's pledge to bolster U.S. military support for Saudi Arabia and other Sunni allies in the Gulf Cooperation Council after his administration brokered a nuclear deal with Iran.
The Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said the sale would help the Royal Saudi Air Force's (RSAF) replenish weapons supplies that are becoming depleted due to high demand for multiple “counter-terrorism” operations, while providing reserves for future missions.
The proposed sale includes 22,000 smart and general purpose bombs, including 1,000 GBU-10 Paveway II Laser Guided Bombs, and over 5,000 Joint Direct Attack Munitions kits to turn older bombs into precision-guided weapons using GPS signals.
Meanwhile, HH Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, received Yemen’s Vice-President Khalid Bahah and his delegation on Tuesday.
Bahah briefed Sheikh Mohammad on the political and military developments on the Yemeni front and the government’s role in working from Aden to take control and secure the liberated areas, as well as its readiness to recapture the remaining parts of Yemeni territories from rebels with the support of the Saudi-led Arab coalition.
He also updated Sheikh Mohammad on the humanitarian and relief operations taking place in more than one area to help the affected people.
Sheikh Mohammad reiterated the UAE’s support for Yemen and its people to overcome security and economic challenges and realize their national ambitions and aspirations to rebuild their country.
Sheikh Mohammad said that the Saudi-led Arab coalition’s Restoring Hope Operation is moving as per its set plan. Bahah extended his thanks and appreciation to the UAE for its honorable and historical stand by the Yemeni people as well as the Emirati people who demonstrated their noble sacrifices in helping their brethren in Yemen.