Saudi Arabia inks deal for American missile defense system

Saudi Arabia inks deal for American missile defense system

What happened: Saudi Arabia and the United States are closing in on a $15 billion defense deal, paving the way for Riyadh to receive 44 Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense systems, CNBC reported November 28.

Saudi officials reportedly signed the deal earlier this week, paving the way for the sale of 44 THAAD launchers, missiles and related equipment.

A last-minute push by Washington to close the deal included a phone call between US President Donald Trump and Saudi King Salman, according to the news wire.

The deal, which has been in the works since December 2016, appeared at risk, following pressure from Congress to downgrade USA ties with Saudi Arabia, after the Central Intelligence Agency concluded that Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman had ordered the brutal murder of US-based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October.

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John Bellini, a seismologist for the U.S Geological Survey said: "This is a large quake and there have been numerous aftershocks". According to CNN's Brian Stelter, the quake knocked all local Anchorage TV stations off the airwaves Friday morning.

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Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of SC, a frequent ally of Mr Trump, vowed that he would not vote to wrap up key legislative business this year - including a spending Bill needed to avert a partial government shutdown - until he receives a briefing from Ms Haspel on Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's possible role in Mr Khashoggi's death. "It would strengthen "the safety of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region in the long run", facing the growing threats of the Iranian regime and extremist groups supported by Iran ".

Mr Trump has repeatedly ruled out cutting off arms sales to Saudi Arabia as punishment for the Khashoggi killing, arguing that the kingdom would simply purchase weapons from other nations.

At the same time, USA senators voted Wednesday to advance a measure to end military support for the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen, a move revealing increasing discord within the American government.

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