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US to sell $7bn worth of military aircraft, missiles to four Arab states

The Pentagon has given the go-ahead for the sale of $7 billion worth of military aircraft and missiles to four Arab states, the bulk of which is to head to Saudi Arabia.

It announced the approval on Thursday of a $3.51-billion contract to sell 48 CH-47F Chinook cargo helicopters with spare engines and machineguns to the kingdom.

Another deal envisages the transfer of $3.5-billion in 27 AH-64E Apache helicopter gunships and support equipment to the United Arab Emirates.

Washington and Riyadh maintain a controversially-close alliance, with the US turning a deaf ear to stop arms sales to the kingdom due to its tattered human rights record and its 2015-present bloodletting against Yemen.

Saudi Arabia initiated the bombing campaign in March 2015 to reinstall Yemen’s former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a dedicated Riyadh ally, who had resigned earlier and fled to the Saudi capital.

The offensive has killed thousands and displaced millions across the impoverished nation. The UAE has also been lending lavish support to the campaign at Riyadh’s behest.

The US approved more than $20 billion in military sales to the kingdom in 2015 alone. Pentagon has even been providing advisory and other sorts of support to the bombardment.

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