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U.S. approves $15 billion worth THAAD missiles sale to Saudi Arabia
10 October 2017, 03:21 | Melissa Porter
Ben Listerman DoD AFP
The department said the sale of the equipment to the Saudi people would help provide a balance to a relatively unstable environment in the Gulf and to help the U.S. forces enlarge its allied grip on the region.
"THAAD's exo-atmospheric, hit-to-kill capability will add an upper-tier to Saudi Arabia's layered missile defense architecture".
The king has been visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin in talks over oil and Syria, Saudi's al Arabiya television reported.
Speaking on October 9, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the deal to supply the long-range S-400 air-defense missile systems to Riyadh "isn't directed against any third country".
It is expected the sale will beef-up security in the nuclear-hungry Middle East.
"The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region", it said.
DSCA noted that adopting THAAD weapons will help increase Saudi Arabia's capacity to defend against potential ballistic missiles and other regional threats.
He said that Riyadh was set to cooperate with Moscow in the fight against terrorism.
Thaad systems are being deployed in South Korea to protect against a possible missile attack from North Korea, but many Koreans have objected, fearing it would become a target that endangers lives of those who live near its launch sites. It is also the recognition that Russian Federation is an important mediator in Saudi Arabia's relations, for example with Iran.
King Salman, the first sitting Saudi monarch ever to visitRussia, led a delegation to Moscow that agreed joint investment deals worth several billion dollars, providing much-needed investment for a Russian economy battered by low oil prices and Western sanctions.
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