Trump allows US bomb parts to be built in Saudi Arabia
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Trump allows US bomb parts to be built in Saudi Arabia

According to a report published by the New York Times on Friday, the Trump administration allowed Raytheon, a US military defense contractor, to “team up” with the Saudis to build and assemble components of Paveway smart bombs in the kingdom. The components included control systems, circuit cards and guidance electronics. The authorization came as a result of the national emergency declaration the White House officials issued last month to bypass Congress for 22 separate arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates totaling $8.1 billion. The United States, despite selling smart bombs and other weapons to Riyadh, has so far protected the high-tech development process “for national security reasons,” the according to the Times. The provision, as to the American paper said, immediately "raised concerns that the Saudis could gain access to technology that would let them produce their own versions of American precision-guided bombs—weapons they have used in strikes on civilians since they began fighting a war in Yemen four years ago." William Hartung, director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy, warned that handing the Saudis the capacity to develop high-tech bombs could have disastrous consequences for the people of Yemen, who are already suffering from the world's worst humanitarian crisis. "If Saudi Arabia is able to develop an indigenous bomb-making capability as a result of this deal," Hartung said, "it will undermine US leverage to prevent them from engaging in indiscriminate strikes of the kind it has carried out in Yemen." In a detailed investigation published last month, the Times revealed that Saudi Arabia has "ordered more than 27,000 missiles worth at least $1.8 billion from Raytheon alone," and that, "about $650 million of those Raytheon orders came after the Saudi war in Yemen began." Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched the devastating campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the aim of bringing the former Saudi-sponsored government back to power. Riyadh has failed to fulfill its objectives. The US along with some Western countries are complicit in the ongoing aggression as they supply the Riyadh regime with advanced weapons and military equipment as well as logistical and intelligence assistance. According to a new report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, the Saudi-led war has so far claimed the lives of about 56,000 Yemenis. The Saudi-led war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN has warned that a record 22.2 million Yemenis are in dire need of food, including 8.4 million threatened by severe hunger. According to the world body, Yemen is suffering from the worst global famine in more than 100 years.

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