State Dept Looking Into Arms Transfers to Yemen Islamist Groups

Both Saudis, UAE suspected of unauthorized transfers

The US sends a lot of weapons into a lot of war zones, and while officially there are very careful regulations on who the arms end up with, a recurring theme is that the US doesn’t have any idea what happens to those arms, and gets surprised when some Islamist faction finds itself awash in US-made gear.

Yemen is the latest nation where this has become a problem, as the State Department is promising to look into evidence that al-Qaeda-linked militants got hold of US weapons, including Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles.

This matter is being brought up by congressional Democrats, who have been trying to get a handle on massive US arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the nations engaged in the Yemen War, and a big part of the problem with US arms sales is that the US doesn’t have good control on what happens to all those arms.

The Pentagon has confirmed they are already engaged in an ongoing investigation into this incident, with both Saudi and UAE forces violating transfer agreements. The Administration is so determined to keep the arms sales going, especially with the Saudis, that they presumably will resist any sales curbs no matter what the investigations determine.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.