F-15 fighter jets (file photo)
Source: Press TV
The United States is reportedly poised to announce a multi-billion dollar arms deal with Saudi Arabia, which includes the sales of 84 fighter jets to Riyadh.
The $29.4 billion agreement, also stipulates the upgrading of over 70 Saudi warplanes, a US official said on condition of anonymity on Wednesday, adding that President Barack Obama's administration has not made the pact public yet.
About a year ago, the White House gained congressional approval for a 10-year USD 60 billion arms deal with Riyadh, which included the sale of F-15s, helicopters, missiles, bombs, radar warning systems and night-vision goggles.
The Obama administration has assured US lawmakers that the military equipment provided under the contract does not constitute a threat against Israel.
Oil-rich Saudi Arabia is considered vital for the US energy security and the main platform for Washington's political sway in the Middle East.
Over the course of the spreading popular uprisings across the Middle East and North Africa since early 2011, Riyadh has been a staunch supporter of the autocratic regimes in the region in their crackdowns on the ongoing pro-democracy movements.
In Yemen, anti-government protesters hold President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who enjoys Saudi and US support, responsible for the killing of hundreds of people since the beginning of the popular uprising in late January.
On March 14, the Saudi troops, together with forces from the United Arab Emirates, invaded Bahrain to assist the Bahraini government in its quelling of the popular peaceful protests in the Persian Gulf island nation.