US lawmakers raise doubts on sale of smart bombs to Saudi Arabia

WASHINGTON - A group of US lawmakers said on Monday they had requested more information from President Donald Trump's administration about the potential sale of precision-guided munitions to Saudi Arabia, expressing concern about civilian casualties in Riyadh's campaign in Yemen that delayed the deal last year.
Thirty mostly Democratic lawmakers signed the letter to US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, and Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, citing expectations that the administration plans to go ahead with the sale.
"As you know, the previous administration made the decision in December 2016 to halt a planned sale of precision-guided munitions (PGM) to Saudi Arabia due to concerns over widespread civilian casualties and significant deficiencies in RSAF's (the Saudi Air Force's) targeting capabilities," the letter, dated Friday but released on Monday, said.
"According to recent reports, however, the State Department has now reversed course and removed the suspension on these PGM sales," they said in the letter, led by Representative Ted Lieu, a Democratic member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
The State and Defense Departments do not comment on planned arms sales before formal notification is sent to Congress.
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