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US approves $6 billion in weapons sales to UAE, Bahrain

A set of three Army Patriot missile launchers stand ready to defend the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing against airborne threats at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia. (Senior Master Sgt. Eric Peterson/U.S. Air Force)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

The U.S. State Department has approved the sale of some $6 billion in weapons sales to Persian Gulf allies Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.).

The department said on May 3 that it sent notifications of the potential sales to Congress, which generally has 30 days to oppose weapons deals if it so chooses.

The United States relies on the U.A.E, Bahrain and, especially, Saudi Arabia to help counter Iranian influence in the region.

In April, Washington moved ahead with a portion of the $15 billion sale of the THAAD missile-defense system to Saudi Arabia.

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THAAD is used to guard against ballistic-missile attacks.

In one of the notifications sent to Congress on May 3, the State Department said Bahrain could potentially buy various Patriot missile systems and related support and equipment for an estimated $2.48 billion.

Separately, the State Department notified Congress of its plan to sell various weapons to support Bahrain’s F-16 Block 70/F-16V aircraft fleet for an estimated cost of $750 million.

The department also notified Congress that the U.A.E. was given potential approval for $2.73 billion worth of Patriot missiles and related equipment, including 452 Patriot Advanced Capability 3 (PAC-3) Missiles Segment Enhanced (MSE) and associated items.