U.S. Starts Sending Smart Bombs to Saudi Arabia

The U.S. Will start delivering smart bombs to Saudi Arabia, as part of a $1.3 billion arms package

The $1.3 billion arms package was approved back in 2015, according to two officials who have knowledge of the plans.

The State Department mentioned its intention to Congress last week, on starting the deliveries within a month. Officials spoke on condition of anonymity, due to the fact that the decision hasn’t been made public. The package contains a variety of arms, including tail kits built by Boeing Co., which convert unguided bombs into munitions directed by the Global Positioning System. More than that, the package contains laser-guided bombs built by Raytheon Co.

On the other hand, the sale is separate from a $110 billion arms package praised by Donald Trump during his trip to the Middle East in the previous month. However, it represents another signal of the Trump administration’s pivot toward Saudi Arabia. More than that, it sees the country as a critical ally in the fight against terrorism.

On the other hand, a group of senators led by Republican Rand Paul of Kentucky and Chris Murphy of Connecticut want to get a vote of disapproval on the sale in Congress.

“The Administration’s notice to us that they are about to start delivering precision-guided munitions in 30 days from a previous sale shows that the Saudis won’t be running out of these weapons anytime soon. We need to send a message to both the Trump Administration and the Saudis to work much harder to avoid civilian casualties, expedite humanitarian relief, and push for a peaceful end to the war through a negotiated political settlement,” Senator Ben Cardin, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement