Over the weekend, Trump visited Saudi Arabia, where he signed a series of arms deals totaling a record $110 billion. The arms deal includes tanks, artillery, ships, helicopters, a missile defense system and cybersecurity technology. The deal is expected to total more than $350 billion over the next 10 years.
The deal comes as the Pentagon continues to support a Saudi-led bombing campaign in Yemen, where years of fighting have decimated the country’s health, water, sewage and sanitation systems, contributing to a cholera outbreak that has killed at least 300 people and that is threatening to spiral out of control. Over 10,000 people have died since the Saudi bombing campaign began in 2015. On Saturday, thousands of Yemenis rallied in Sana’a to protest the U.S. arms deal with Saudi Arabia and Trump’s visit there. This is Yemeni journalist Nasser Al-Rabeey.
Nasser Al-Rabeey: “We are here today to say no for terrorism, no for American terrorism. And we are here to say to Trump: ‘You kill Yemenis with Saudi hands. You support Qaeda/ISIS by supporting the Saudi Wahhabi regime.'”
A legal expert says the U.S. arms deal with Saudi Arabia may be illegal under U.S. law because of the Saudi bombing campaign’s killing of civilians. As Trump celebrated the $110 billion arms deal, the Saudis pledged a series of investments in U.S. companies, including a $20 billion investment in the private equity firm Blackstone Group and a $100 million donation—made along with the United Arab Emirates—to a World Bank fund for women that was proposed by President Trump’s daughter and White House adviser, Ivanka Trump. We’ll have more on Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia after headlines with Medea Benjamin.