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US Cancels Weapons Transfers To Saudi Over Yemen Campaign

US cancels weapons transfers to Saudi over Yemen campaign

WASHINGTON, , (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News, app - 13th Dec, 2016 ) - The White House has blocked the transfer of precision munitions to ally Saudi Arabia, amid anger about the civilian death toll from the kingdom's bombing campaign in Yemen.

"We have made clear that US security cooperation is not a blank check," a senior administration official told AFP, echoing long-standing concerns about how Riyadh is prosecuting its war against Iranian-backed Huthi rebels.

"Consequently, we have decided to not move forward with some foreign military sales (FMS) cases for munitions," the source said. "This reflects our continued, strong concerns with the flaws in the coalition's targeting practices and overall prosecution of the air campaign in Yemen." Other US sources confirmed the proposed sale was of precision guided munitions made by US firm Raytheon.

The decision brings a simmering division between the already troubled allies into public. The White House has long struggled to balance its unease over the prosecution of the Saudi campaign and risking a broader feud with a key Middle Eastern partner.

The campaign has been closely linked to young Prince Mohammad bin Salman, who has rapidly emerged as a leading player in Riyadh. The war in Yemen has also coincided with the Obama administration's assiduous courting of Saudi support for the nuclear deal with Iran.

Since then ties have been further strained by Congress's recent passage of a bill allowing 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia.

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