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US Approves Sale Of 130 Abrams Battle Tanks, 20 Armored Vehicles To Saudi Arabia For $1.2 Billion

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Over the years, Saudi Arabia has emerged as the biggest donor to the Clinton Foundation, having donated between $10 and $25 million.

And just in case there is still any confusion what the quid to that particular “pro quo” is, moments ago we got another answer when Reuters reported that the U.S. State Department has approved the potential sale of more than 130 Abrams battle tanks, 20 armored recovery vehicles and other equipment, worth about $1.15 billion, to Saudi Arabia, the Pentagon said on Tuesday.

The approval for land force equipment comes at a time when Saudi Arabia is leading a war in Yemen in support of forces, loyal to the exiled government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who are trying to oust Iran-allied Houthi forces from the capital, Sanaa. The coalition’s air strikes have come under repeated criticism for killing hundreds of civilians.

The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which oversees foreign arms sales, said that General Dynamics will be the principal contractor for the sale, adding it would contribute to U.S. national security by improving the security of a regional partner.

“This sale will increase the Royal Saudi Land Force’s (RSLF) interoperability with U.S. forces and conveys U.S. commitment to Saudi Arabia’s security and armed forces modernization,” the agency said in a notice to lawmakers posted on its website.

While lawmakers have 30 days to block the sale, such an action would be rare especially since Saudi Arabia has already paid enough in “donations” to make sure it goes through without a hitch.

Saudi Arabia and its mostly Gulf Arab allies intervened in Yemen’s civil war in March 2015 after the Houthi movement had pushed the Hadi administration into exile in Saudi Arabia. On Tuesday the Saudi-led military coalition conducted air strikes on Sanaa for the first time in five months, residents said, after U.N.-backed peace talks to end the conflict broke down over the weekend. Medics said nine civilians were killed in a strike on a potato chip factory in the Nahda district of the capital. – READ MORE

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