US Senate clears $510M sale to KSA

saudisale(Photo Credit: FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images)

I’m not a lawyer, but it seems to me that if someone states they are “helping (Saudia Arabia) not to kill civilians” in Yemen they would assume partial culpability if they do kill civilians. JP

13 June 2017 | | DefenseNews

The U.S. Senate voted 53—46 along largely partisan lines to approve a $510 million sale of precision-guided munitions to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.

The sale’s supporters, largely Republican, said opponents—in seeking to score political points against Trump—would strengthen Iran’s hand. The vote was framed by critics of the sale as a rebuke of Saudi Arabia’s activities in the Yemen civil war.

Had it been successful, the vote would have been the first time in decades a Congressional body voted to bar a weapons sale to Saudi Arabia. It would have also been a public setback weeks after President Trump announced a $110 billion arms deal with Riyadh, a key part of his Middle East policy and first overseas trip as president.

“This is one of those things, you’re cutting your nose off to spite your face, and there are some, not all, who are using this to get a piece of the Trump administration’s hide,” Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and a supporter of the sale, said ahead of the vote. “I would hope that we would rise above that and realize that Saudi Arabia, with their flaws, has been a reliable ally.

“There is no classified evidence that they purposely tried to kill civilians, and in fact we have the opposite, and they already own the bombs, and we’re helping them not kill civilians,” Corker said.

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