Saudis, UAE to get US bunker-buster bombs, cruise missiles in deal worth $11b.

News of arms purchase comes as Gulf states concerned over Iran and its efforts to extend its influence throughout the region.

By REUTERS
October 18, 2013 06:29
1 minute read.
5000-pound class bomb "Bunker Buster" GBU-37

5000-pound class bomb "Bunker Buster" GBU-37 370 . (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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The US Pentagon said on Thursday it plans a large arms sale to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates worth $10.8 billion.

The weapons include bunker-buster bombs and air-launched cruise missiles that can hit targets from a long distance, AFP reported. The missiles can hit air defense systems from a safe distance, out of range of anti-aircraft systems.

The weapons will be used on US-made F- 15 and F-16 fighter jets, according to the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency.

The Gulf states are very concerned about Iran and its mission to extend its influence throughout the region. This worry has only increased as Iran gets ever closer to attaining nuclear weapons.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia was elected to a two-year term on the UN Security Council along with Chad, Nigeria, Chile and Lithuania.

They were elected by the 193-member UN General Assembly on Thursday.

Saudi Arabia, Chad, and Lithuania will be on the council for the first time.


They will replace Azerbaijan, Guatemala, Morocco, Pakistan and Togo on the 15- member Security Council on January 1. All five countries were elected unopposed, but they still needed approval from two-thirds of the General Assembly to secure their seats.

There are five veto-holding permanent members of the council – the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China – and 10 temporary members without veto power.

Saudi Arabia’s image among Middle Easterners dropped, according to a survey the Pew Research Global Attitudes Project released on Thursday.

The favorability rating of the country dropped in Egypt from 91 percent to 78%, in Lebanon from 82% to 51%, in the Palestinian territories from 65% to 52%, and in Turkey from 40% to 26%.

In Muslim countries outside the Middle East, Saudi Arabia is viewed favorably. In Pakistan, the country has a 95% approval rating and in Indonesia 82%, Senegal 72%, and Malaysia 63%.

Sunnis in Lebanon gave an overwhelming approval rating of 82%, while only 6% of Shi’ites approve of Saudi Arabia.

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