US Senate votes down resolution to block $650 million in missile sales to Saudi Arabia

WION Web Team
WASHINGTONUpdated: Dec 08, 2021, 11:35 AM IST
main img
While many US lawmakers consider Saudi Arabia an important partner in the Middle East, members of Congress also have criticised the country for its involvement in the war in Yemen, a conflict considered one of the world's worst humanitarian disasters. Photograph:(Twitter)

Story highlights

The Senate has rejected a bid to stop a US arms sale to Saudi Arabia. Lawmakers from both parties sought to prevent President Joe Biden’s administration from selling more than $650 million worth of weapons to the country.

A proposal in the US Senate that would have prevented $650 million in military sales to Saudi Arabia was defeated.

The motion was rejected in the Senate on Tuesday night by a vote of 30-67.

Saudi Arabia has received 280 medium-range air-to-air missiles from the United States, which will be used to protect against attacks such as Houthi explosive-equipped drones. 

It was the latest squabble in Congress over weapons shipments to the country.

Also read | Saudi Arabia targets Huthi rebels in Yemen after ballistic missile attack

Saudi Arabia has been a longtime ally of the United States, but resentment has grown over civilian casualties in the Saudi-led war in Yemen and the assassination of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi operatives.

Saudi Arabia will receive $650 million worth of weapons as part of the arms agreement. Almost 600 Raytheon missile launchers and nearly 300 air-to-air missiles, as well as spare parts and maintenance assistance, are included in the arms package.

Watch | Yemen: Saudi-led coalition launches airstrikes, Yemen locked in downward spiral

Iran-backed Huthi rebels control much of northern Yemen, including the capital Sanaa, which they seized in 2014.

A year later, a Saudi-led coalition entered in Yemen to support the government in a conflict that has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions. 

(With inputs from agencies)