The State Department just approved a $500 million sale in helicopter maintenance to Saudi Arabia. Months ago President Biden announced to the nation that he was serious about ending U.S. involvement in the Saudi-led war on Yemen. However, this sale signals that nothing is fundamentally changing when it comes to the U.S.-Saudi relationship. This deal is the Biden Administration breaking its promises to Yemen.
The reason this commitment to maintenance of Saudi helicopters is so important is because these helicopters are regularly used to wage war on the people of Yemen. In September 2015, Saudi helicopters killed over 25 civilians in Yemen. After their first wave of attacks that day, they came back for more and killed three medics trying to help the wounded from the initial attack. There have been several occasions where the Saudi military has used helicopters to slaughter civilians.
The helicopters are also used to aid other operations in Yemen. They are a vital part of Saudi Arabia’s war effort, so when Biden says he ended all offensive support for the war on Yemen, that’s not at all true. He allowed contractors to stay and repair military equipment, and now he is making sure Saudi helicopters can continue fulfilling military operations. This is an outrage!
Justice for Yemen looks like a complete reevaluation of the U.S.-Saudi relationship. For years, Saudi Arabia has undermined the right of Yemenis to decide their own future for their own country. In the process, the U.S. has provided support while Saudi Arabia starves millions of people and kills thousands with air strikes. The continued U.S. support to Saudi Arabia needs to come to an immediate end. Look out for CODEPINK’s new campaign to end the U.S. arms trade, because it’s not just about ending one weapons sale to Saudi Arabia. It’s about ending all of them. Forever.
The arms trade has caused irreparable harm to the people of the world
and the environment while lining the pockets of CEO’s, arms dealers,
and our politicians. Let’s stop the arms trade now!