The US government has signed a contract for the supply of the Thaad missile defense system. For Washington it reinforces security in the Gulf in an anti-Iranian key. The Senate passes a motion (63 in favor and 37 against) asking to "withdraw" support for the Arab coalition led by Riyadh.
Washington (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The US government has signed a $ 15 billion contract with Saudi Arabia, aimed at selling the Thaad anti-missile defense system. This was announced yesterday by a spokesman for the US State Department, confirming the rumors of a new supply of armaments after that of last March, in spite of the criticism of human rights activist groups and the opinion of a part of Parliament.
The announcement comes in concomitance with the US Senate vote, which intends to "withdraw" American support for the Saudi Arabian coalition leading a bloody war in Yemen. The vote (63 senators in favor of the motion and 37 against) represents a failure for President Donald Trump, a staunch defender of the alliance - with arms and billions - with Riyadh.
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis had previously called on senators to reject the motion, as it would "worsen" the situation in Yemen. The vote also comes in a context of tensions and shadows on relations between the United States and the Saudi kingdom, following the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, behind which there would be the hand of Mohammed bin Salman (Mbs), in spite of the official denials of Riyadh.
The stipulated contract concerns 44 Thaad systems manufactured by Lockheed Martin and was ratified on 26 November last, concluding a dense network of negotiations begun in December 2016. It would strengthen "the safety of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region in the long run" , facing the growing threats of the Iranian regime and extremist groups supported by Iran ".
Since 2008, the US military has used the Thaad defense system (high altitude area defense terminal), designed to intercept medium range ballistic missiles. It includes a mobile platform for launching missiles, interceptor vectors, a radar and an integrated focusing system.