US Clears More UAE Arms Sales, Despite Evidence of Past Violations

UAE transferred US arms to al-Qaeda, other terrorists

Exporting arms to the Middle East remains a driving US priority, and the Trump Administration is preparing to export a new batch of arms and armored vehicles to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), even though the evidence is that the UAE violated transfer agreements on past purchases.

US arms come with strict conditions on who they can be shared with. This was really limiting in Yemen, where the UAE and other nations are backing some very shady Islamist factions as allies of convenience, and could bolster them with US arms.

Evidence has been around for some time that the UAE gave arms to Yemeni al-Qaeda (AQAP) and other groups for the war. This was done without any permission from the US, though Trump Administration officials have retroactively cleared them of wrongdoing.

Clearing them doesn’t mean they did no wrong, naturally, but that they want to sell the UAE more arms, and sales had been on hold when that last round of misconduct came out. Consistently, if it comes down to misconduct or sales, the administration has chosen sales.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of