Bipartisan Senate Effort Seeks to Block Proposed $23 Billion Weapons Sale to UAE, Including F-35s

US

If approved, the weapons could potentially be used in the war in Yemen or spark an arms race in the region. However, US President Donald Trump, who touted the sale of F-35s alongside his negotiated peace deal between the United Arab Emirates and Israel, is almost certain to reject the resolutions.

A group of Republican and Democratic senators have teamed up in an attempt to stop a proposed $23 billion weapons sale to the UAE over fears it could spark an arms race in the region and hurt the national security of Israel, Washington’s chief ally there.

According to Politico, Rep. Ilhan Omar (R-MN) plans to soon introduce similar legislation in the House of Representatives.

“As I tried to warn the Trump administration, circumventing deliberative processes for considering a massive infusion of weapons to a country in a volatile region with multiple ongoing conflicts is downright irresponsible,” Menendez, who is the top Democrat in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement. 

He highlighted how US national security officials have not explained how they “would deal with specific national security risks inherent in the proposed sale,” which would include 50 stealthy F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, 18 MQ-9B Reaper drones and a variety of munitions.

At present, israel is the only Middle Eastern country to operate the F-35, flying a specially modified version dubbed the “Adir.” However, on November 10, US Secretary of State Mike…

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