US to lift freeze on offensive weapons sales to Saudi Arabia: Sources

Published: Updated:
Read Mode
100% Font Size
2 min read

The United States is set to lift its freeze on offensive weapons sales to Saudi Arabia in the coming weeks, sources familiar with the matter told Al Arabiya English on Sunday.

One source indicated that there would be a significant resumption in the types of weapons sold, though no further details were provided.

When asked about the move, US State Department officials did not comment. Al Arabiya English has also reached out to the White House for comment.

For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

Under President Joe Biden, the US initially targeted Gulf countries with several foreign policy actions. These included lifting the terror designation from Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi militia, despite strong opposition from traditional Gulf and Arab allies, and freezing what were termed “offensive” weapons sales.

Since then, Saudi Arabia has facilitated peace talks and established direct communication lines with the Houthis, who had been lobbing rockets, missiles and bomb-laden drones at the Kingdom for years.

The Financial Times first reported the Biden administration’s decision to lift its freeze on offensive weapons sales to Saudi Arabia.

Riyadh recognized and supported the legitimate Yemeni government and has provided millions of dollars of humanitarian aid to the war-torn country.

Two years later, the Biden administration reversed its stance, re-designating the Houthis as a terrorist organization and is currently engaged in almost daily tit-for-tat attacks with the Iran-backed group.

Additionally, the US has urged Yemen’s neighboring countries to join an international task force aimed at deterring Houthi attacks on ships in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. However, apart from Bahrain, no Gulf or Arab country has publicly joined Operation Prosperity Guardian, and several countries have restricted or limited the US’ ability to launch anti-Houthi attacks from bases on their territory.

Read more:

Pentagon looks to increase air defense systems in Gulf as Iran threats increase

Saudi Crown Prince has clear vision that will change Mideast, US Senator Graham says

US-GCC defense working groups to look at increasing integrated air, missile defense