The United States signed a $1 billion deal with Saudi Arabia on Thursday that includes sending nearly 6,600 missiles to the kingdom.
According to Reuters, the sale – which became public as Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) met with U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis – will include Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, Wire-guided (TOW) missiles.
“The proposed sale of TOW 2B missiles and technical support will advance Saudi Arabia’s efforts to develop an integrated ground defense capability,” the State Department said.
In addition to this, the State Department reportedly said it also approved the potential sale of $300 million in parts for Saudi Arabia’s fleet of Abrams tanks and armored vehicles. Reuters reported further that the State Department also approved the proposed sale of equipment and services for Saudi Arabia’s fleet of military helicopters for $106.8 million.
During their meeting, Mattis reportedly told MBS that Saudi Arabia must find a solution to end the war in Yemen, where Iran-backed Houthi rebels are wreaking havoc.
“We must also reinvigorate urgent efforts to seek a peaceful resolution to the civil war in Yemen and we support you in this regard,” Mattis said, according to Arab News.
He reportedly added:
We believe that Saudi Arabia is part of the solution. They have stood by the United Nations-recognized government, and we are going to end this war. That is the bottom line. And we are going to end it on positive terms for the people of Yemen but also security for the nations in the peninsula.
Mattis also noted that the United Nations’ new envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths of Britain, is in pursuit of a political solution to the ongoing civil war in Yemen.