US weapons sales to Saudi Arabia passed by Senate

The U.S. Senate has rejected a resolution that aimed to prohibit the sale of advanced medium range air-to-air missiles, missile launchers and other weapons to Saudi Arabia.

The vote, 67 to 30, against the resolution, was introduced by Republicans Rand Paul and Mike Lee, along with Bernie Sanders, who generally caucuses with Democrats.

While many U.S. lawmakers consider Saudi Arabia an important ally in the Middle East, members of the US Congress have been critical for its involvement in the war in Yemen – a conflict considered one of the world’s worst humanitarian disasters.

“Exporting more missiles to Saudi Arabia does nothing but further this conflict and pour more gasoline on already raging fire,” said Sanders.

“I completely agree with the need to hold Saudi leadership accountable for a variety of actions… but I also believe that it is important that our security partners know that we will uphold our commitments,” said Democratic Senator Bob Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The weapons sales, which was approved by the State Department as well as leaders of the Senate and House foreign affairs committees, would include 596 LAU-128 Missile Rail Launchers (MRL) along other equipment, 280 AIM-120C-7/C-8 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM), and support.

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