Rep. Ilhan Omar introduced the resolutions in an effort to hold the countries accountable for human rights abuses.

by Ken Klippenstein, The Intercept

Rep. Ilhan Omar is introducing two pieces of legislation to block U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, citing atrocities committed by both countries. The U.S. made high-profile sales to both countries in December, shoring up their offensive capabilities amid the possibility of a regional war and a growing risk of confrontation with Yemen’s Houthis.

The Saudi bill is the Minnesota progressive’s latest attempt to hold the Saudi regime to account for its sordid human rights record. It would stop the sale of aircraft support, intelligence sensors, and other materiel relied upon by the Royal Saudi Air Force amid a blockade that has devastated Yemen’s population. In December, the State Department approvedOpens in a new tab a $582 million sale to Saudi Arabia to renew its drone surveillance system.

President Joe Biden and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz bumps fist at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah, on 15 July,2022.

The UAE also recently escalated its involvement in the war on Yemen, leading to Houthi rocket attacks that have eroded the sense of security the Emirati states had cultivated. Omar’s measure would prohibit the sale of high explosive rockets, radar systems, and other military equipment to the UAE. In December, the State Department approvedOpens in a new tab an $85 million sale of high explosive rockets and defense-related radar equipment to the UAE.

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