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As Trump Pushes Massive Saudi Weapons Deal, Yemenis Suffer from Cholera, War, and Famine

One possible outcome of Trump’s visit could be a green light to attack the Red Sea port city of Hodeida, where the bulk of the humanitarian aid enters Yemen

President Donald Trump will arrive in Saudi Arabia on Friday bearing a major arms deal for the Gulf kingdom, which observers warn will swiftly then be used against the people of Yemen, who are currently facing deadly cholera outbreak, devastating famine, and two years of war that shows no sign of abating.

In exchange for the $110 billion package, said to be the largest arms deal in history, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman has offered “to invest at least $200 billion in American infrastructure and open up new business opportunities for U.S. companies inside the kingdom,” according to  Alternet‘s Max Blumenthal, a move that is expected to win the U.S. president points in the rust belt states of Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

“The weapons,” Blumenthal added, “would then be used to pulverize Yemen.” The deal, partially brokered by Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner, includes a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, as well as precision guided-munitions that had previously been withheld by the Obama administration “out of fear that they would be used to bomb civilians in Yemen,” the New York Times reported . During his time in office, former President Barack Obama oversaw $115 billion in arms sold to the Gulf state.

“The package also includes ‘maritime assets,’ meaning ships, so the Saudis can assume more of the burden of policing the Persian Gulf and Red Sea against Iranian aggression,” the Times further wrote. “It does not include high-end items like the advanced F-35 fighter, whose sale to Saudi Arabia would alarm Israel.”

“Trump should not use this trip to support Saudi Arabia’s aggressive agenda, aggravate Sunni-Shia tensions, and further enrich U.S. weapons makers,” .”Instead, he should put a halt to weapons sales and press the Saudis to sit down with Iran and other regional players to find a political solution to the devastating regional conflicts, starting with Yemen.” Analysts said.

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