Contacts with Riyadh over S-400 supplies have good preliminary result

Casey Dawson
October 11, 2017

USA military sales to Saudi Arabia has come under increased scrutiny as a Saudi-led coalition is involved in military intervention in Yemen.

The approval has now opened the way for Saudi Arabia's purchasing of the 44 Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) launchers and 360 missiles, as well as fire control stations and radar, says a report in Reuters.

Saudi Arabia also ordered THAAD battery maintenance equipment, 43 prime mover trucks, electrical power units, communications equipment, generators, test and maintenance supplies, spares and fix parts.

Meanwhile, King Salman of Saudi Arabia has entered into a preliminary agreement to purchase Russia's S-400 surface-to-air missile defence system, he announced in Moscow last week.

"Many important issues were considered during the meeting between King Salman bin Abdulaziz and [Russian] President Vladimir Putin".

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The US sale has not yet "concluded", it confirmed.

When asked about fears that Saudi Arabia could use the S-400 system against Iran, a Russian ally, Peskov said Moscow's decision to offer the missiles to Riyadh was not aimed at any third party.

"They pose a threat for our countries and for other states, from where they came from".

The State Department said it would advise Congress that, in Saudi hands, the system would act to stabilize the situation in the Gulf and help defend USA forces in the region and their allies, who face a growing Iranian missile capability.

Washington deployed THAAD, which is used to guard against ballistic-missile attacks, to South Korea this year for defense against North Korea. It is also the recognition that Russian Federation is an important mediator in Saudi Arabia's relations, for example with Iran.

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