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US states exporting 'billions in arms' to Saudi Arabia, UAE

Yemen has been devastated by airstrikes [Getty]

Date of publication: 8 June, 2019

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Investigative site Bellingcat have revealed that a number of US states are exporting millions of dollars in arms to Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

US states are exporting hundreds of millions dollars' worth of military equipment to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, according to Bellingcat, countries accused of war crimes and human rights abuses in Yemen's war.

A report on the investigative site said that 11 states - such as Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Arizona - have exported weapons to the Gulf states since a Saudi-led coalition war intervened in Yemen in 2015.

"Eleven states plus the District of Columbia have each exported over $100 million in weapons for Saudi Arabia and the UAE," the site said in the report.

"Altogether, up to $6.8 billion in bombs, rocket launchers, machine guns and other weapons are mapped below using open source data provided by the US government."

The District of Columbia has exported $737 million in military equipment to the states, according to data released by the government, Bellingcat reported.

North Carolina exported $1.9 billion in weapons to Saudi Arabia between 2015 - when Riyadh intervened in the war in Yemen - and March 2019.

Arizona has shipped $1.2 billion in arms to Saudi Arabia and the UAE since 2015. In 2017, the state exported $328 million in bombs, guided missiles and other arms to the Abu Dhabi and close to $478 million to Riyadh.

The weapons sales are due to the presence of arms makers in the states, including Raytheon's Missile Systems in Arizona, where the Paveway II guided-missiles are manufactured.

Since the Saudi-led coalition entered Yemen's war in March 2015, the Gulf allies have launched thousands of airstrikes in the war-torn country. Funeral halls, school buses and homes have all been struck in the bombardment leading to a devastating loss of lives.

The war has also led to the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with malnutrition and disease now widespread with activists and NGOs saying thousands of children have been died in famine.

Some US Senators are attempting to block arms sales to Riyadh due to the devastating war in Yemen and murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi operatives, allegedly on the order of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.



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