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Saudis wasting billions by buying outdated weapons from US: Analyst

Patriot Advanced Capability

The United States continues to sell the Saudis the anti-missile system which failed to protect Riyadh against obsolete Scuds in the recent past, according to E. Michael Jones, an American political analyst in Indiana.

Jones, a writer, former professor, media commentator and the current editor of the Culture Wars magazine, made the remarks in a phone interview with Press TV on Thursday.

The US State Department has approved a possible $500-million sale of missile system support services to Saudi Arabia in defiance of global calls for Washington to stop providing Riyadh with military support due to the regime’s war crimes in Yemen.

“The State Department has made a determination approving a possible foreign military sale to Saudi Arabia of continuation of missile system support services for an estimated cost of $500 million” read a statement from the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which is part of the United States Department of Defense.

This came following a request by Saudi Arabia for continued technical assistance for Patriot Legacy Field Surveillance Program (FSP), the Patriot Advanced Capability 3 (PAC-3) and the Patriot Engineering Services Program (ESP). The package also includes spare parts and logistical support for Patriot and Hawk missile systems.

“The United States has a lot of expensive weapons to sell, the Saudis have lots of money. So they come to a deal. The only problem here is the weapons are not going to solve the problem,” Jones said.

“This is not the first time that the Saudis have bought weapons from the United States.  They have already spent billions of dollars in weapons and those weapons cannot prevent simple things like the fact that the Yemenis have fired two missiles which had landed in Riyadh,” he stated.

“These missiles are not anything sophisticated. They are basically the re-worked Scud missiles of the sort that Iraqis, Saddam Husain, fired in Israel during the Iraqi war,” the analyst noted.

“They had been welded together with bigger gas tanks but they are the same missiles. This is a primitive missile. The patriot missile system cannot block them. So why are they buying more patriot missiles?” he asked. “Well, because this is what they do. They buy, the United States sells, and that’s the whole story here.”

“Now, this is not going to stop the war. If these weapons could have stopped the war, they would have stopped it a long time ago. The Saudis cannot find mobile missile launchers. They cannot deal with the Yemeni fighting techniques,” Jones said.  

“And they are showing no indication of changing their tactics to fight the war that’s actually going on. So as a result they are going to lose the war,” he noted.

“In addition to this, the United States by continuing to sell these missiles is alienating public opinion across the world every bit as much as the recognition of that Jerusalem [al-Quds] as the capital of Israel,” the commentator observed.

The proposed deal comes as the US is under pressure to suspend its arms sales to the Saudi regime, which has been waging a deadly military aggression against Yemen since 2015. At least 13,600 people have been killed since the start of the war.

During his first trip to Saudi Arabia last year, President Donald Trump signed a $110 billion arms deal with the Saudis, with options to sell up to $350 billion over a decade.

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