Saudi Arabia Reportedly Asks Neighbours for Munitions Pending US Approval of Patriot Sales
09:34 GMT 09.01.2022 (Updated: 10:58 GMT 05.03.2023)
© AP Photo / Mindaugas KulbisMembers of US 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command stands next to a Patriot surface-to-air missile battery during the NATO multinational ground based air defence units exercise "Tobruq Legacy 2017" at the Siauliai airbase. (File)
© AP Photo / Mindaugas Kulbis
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Saudi Arabia has asked neighbours for loans of interceptor missiles as it struggles to fend off Houthi strikes, pending US approval of Patriot missile sales, media said Sunday.
The Gulf monarchy sources most of its weapons from the United States but its involvement in the Yemeni war and the killing of a Saudi dissident journalist in 2018 was met with bipartisan criticism in the US, leading to a thorny approval process.
"There is an interceptor shortage. Saudi Arabia has asked its friends for loans, but there are not many to be had," the Financial Times quoted a source with the knowledge of talks between Riyadh and its neighbours.
A senior US source told the daily that Washington approved of these negotiations, which they said might be "the faster alternative" to getting interceptors directly from the US.
Saudi Arabia has been under a relentless drone-and-rocket attack by Houthi rebels in neighbouring Yemen since it sent warplanes to bomb their positions in support of the internationally-recognised Yemeni government.