Democrats on Wednesday failed to block a US sale of top-of-the-line F-35 jets and drones to the United Arab Emirates.
Splitting mostly along party lines, opponents of the $23 billion sale could not reach the 50 senators needed on procedural votes that would pave the way to blocking the deal.
The UAE, one of Washington’s closest Middle East allies, has long expressed interest in acquiring the stealthy F-35 jets and was promised a chance to buy them in a side deal when it agreed to normalize relations with Israel.
Because of the qualitative military edge restriction, in the past the F-35 has been denied to Arab states, while Israel has about 24 of the jets. Israel is currently slated to purchase 50 of the fighters.