|
|
|
The Patriot Ledger, Quincy, MA
May 19, 1:02 PM EDT

US to announce $110 billion Saudi arms sale as Trump visits



Latest News
Trump Israel trip 1st presidential flight from Saudi Arabia

Human rights concerns prove no obstacle in Trump-Saudi ties

In Saudi Arabia, Melania Trump opts to keep her head bare

The Latest: Melania Trump doesn't follow local custom

Young or old, Saudi women live under male relatives' control

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Trump administration plans to announce $110 billion in advanced military equipment sales and training to Saudi Arabia this weekend as President Donald Trump visits the country, officials said Friday.

U.S. officials familiar with the package said it would include Abrams tanks, combat ships, missile defense systems, radar, and communications and cyber security technology. The announcement is expected Saturday in Riyadh, the first leg of Trump's maiden overseas trip as president. The officials weren't authorized to speak publicly and demanded anonymity.

Much of the package builds on commitments made before Trump took office, although some elements are new. Some of the weapons are designed to help the Saudis in their current conflict in neighboring Yemen where they are leading a coalition battling Iran-backed rebels, the officials said.

But officials said the equipment and training is mainly designed to address Saudi Arabia's broader and longer-term threats. Saudi Arabia and other Arab neighbors along the Persian Gulf believe Iran to be their biggest threat.

The package includes $109 billion in equipment such as the tanks, ships, Patriot missile batteries and Terminal High Altitude Area Defense - or THAAD system - for taking out incoming missiles. Some $750 million will be in the form of training programs for the Saudi Air Force, which has been criticized for inflicting high numbers of civilian casualties in Yemen. Training will include education on targeting, the laws of war and reducing civilian casualties, officials said.

Ahead of the weekend announcement, the administration separately informed Congress on Friday that it will sell some $500 million in precision-guided munitions to Saudi Arabia. These include laser-guided Paveway II bombs and JDAM kits for converting unguided bombs into "smart bombs."

In notifying lawmakers, the State Department said the munitions will improve Saudi targeting ability, particularly in Yemen.

The department said it would continue to urge Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners in Yemen to reduce civilian casualties and work toward a truce and peace negotiations.

© 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Email newsletter

Sign up for our newsletter and have the top headlines from your community delivered right to your inbox
  • Latest Entertainment News
    What's hot, what's on, what's coming up soon
  • The Patriot Ledger, Quincy, Ma
    TV Guide
    Posted at 1:56 PM
    Amanda Knox | Photo Credits: Ida Mae Astute/ABC
    The Patriot Ledger, Quincy, Ma
    TV Guide
    Posted at 1:58 PM
    Miley Cyrus, Jay Leno | Photo Credits: Paul Drinkwater/NBC
    The Patriot Ledger, Quincy, Ma
    TV Guide
    Posted at 1:58 PM
    Seinfeld | Photo Credits: George Lange/NBC Universal/Getty Images
    The Patriot Ledger, Quincy, Ma
    TV Guide
    Posted at 2:00 PM
    Tony  Hale | Photo Credits: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images