The formal notification by the US of the proposed sale of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) equipment, support and services to Saudi Arabia has been welcomed by Saudi Ambassador to US.
This $15-billion sale is intended for the enhancement of the kingdom's national security from ballistic missile threats posed by Iran and the Iranian-backed Houthi militia operating in Yemen, said a statement.
Prince Khalid bin Salman said: “Saudi Arabia is located in a volatile area of the world and millions of our citizens – our families and children – sleep each night and live each day within five minutes range of Iranian and Houthi missiles. It is our government's sacred responsibility to provide for their security."
In recent months, Iran has advanced its ballistic missile programs and has launched ballistic missile tests which are threatening to neighbouring countries, the statement said.
In addition, the Iranian-backed Houthi militia has launched more than 76 ballistic missiles into Saudi territory resulting in hundreds of causalities. The Houthis have also launched ballistic missiles targeting Makkah, the holiest site of Islam, it added.
Prince Khalid added: “Saudi Arabia values the long-standing and close partnership with the US and our mutual commitment to ensuring peace and stability in the region.
“The THAAD acquisition is another milestone in our strategic alliance, and will further enhance our joint efforts to counter mutual threats,” he said.
In addition to THAAD, Saudi Arabia has previously announced plans to purchase $110 billion in new defence equipment from US suppliers to protect its citizens, it stated. – TradeArabia News Service