The American military has offered its green light to the sale of thousands of anti-tank missiles to the Persian Gulf Kingdom of Saudi Arabia amid a visit to the region by US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.
US Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified the nation’s Congress on Thursday that it had approved Riyadh’s request for nearly 14,000 tube-launched, optically tracked wire-guided (TOW) missiles and more than 1,700 similar missiles in two separate deals valued at nearly $1.1 billion.
“The proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a critical partner who has been, and continues to be, an important force for political stability in the Middle East,” DSCA said.
This is while Hagel, who arrived in the kingdom of Bahrain on Thursday, reassured despotic American allies in the region that Washington does not intend to change its regional military policy.
The huge military sale is to take place while the Saudi regime is not officially involved in any war. The regime, however, is widely believed to back al-Qaeda-linked militants and terrorist elements in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere in the region.
The US military chief stated on Friday that the United States has no plans to scale back its military deployments or arms sales to the Persian Gulf’s Arab states.
“I will assure our partners that we’re not going anywhere,” added the Pentagon chief.
“This region is dangerous, it’s combustible, it’s unstable,” Hagel said. “But having a steady American hand in this region to help our allies and reassure our allies is really key to working through this really dangerous instability.”
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