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US to sell bombs to UAE worth $785 million: Pentagon

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The United States will sell the United Arab Emirates $785 million worth of bombs as part of the so-called campaign against Daesh in Iraq and Syria, the Pentagon says.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which facilitates foreign arms sales, informed lawmakers on Tuesday that the State Department has approved the deal, according to a Pentagon statement.

Lawmakers now have 30 days to block the deal, but such action seldom happens as these deals are carefully vetted before they are announced.

As part of the deal, the UAE will receive 14,640 bombs and guidance kits, which turn unguided bombs into precision munitions with navigation systems, along with other munitions.

The UAE is a key US ally in the region in the so-called fight against Daesh and the country’s Al Dhafra Air Base hosts about 3,500 US troops and fighter and reconnaissance aircraft used against the Takfiri terrorists.

The UAE has participated in airstrikes against purported Daesh positions in Syria, but the US would like the Persian Gulf Arab allies to increase their contributions to the air raids.

In addition to arm sales to the UAE, the US has separately approved the sale of 246 missiles and other equipment to Japan worth $821 million.

The Pentagon said that the military equipment and missiles will be used for defense at sea over East Asian and Western Pacific airspace.

The missiles would be used on two new destroyers, which are being currently built by Japan.

Last week, the Pentagon announced that the US government would authorize more than $40 billion worth of foreign military sales this year.

“We are tracking toward $40 billion. We are tracking toward our forecast,” US Navy Vice Admiral Joe Rixey, the head of the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) told Reuters on Tuesday.

The top military official noted that the figure is likely to change depending on the upcoming contracts over the fourth quarter.

The projected figure marks a drop from the $46.6 billion arms sales last year.

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