US Expected To Resume Sale of Offensive Weapons to Saudi Arabia

Biden claimed to end 'offensive' support for Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen back in 2021 but continued to back the bombing campaign

The US is expected to resume the sale of “offensive” weapons to Saudi Arabia, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.

US officials told the paper that President Biden was expected to lift a ban on the sale of offensive weapons to Riyadh that he put in place over three years ago, although US support for Saudi Arabia has continued.

In February 2021, President Biden said he would end “offensive” support for Saudi Arabia’s brutal war in Yemen and paused a bomb sale to Riyadh. However, the US continued to support the Saudi bombing campaign, as it was revealed a few months later that the US was still servicing Saudi warplanes.

President Biden also continued to push forward arms deals for Saudi Arabia, including a $650 million air-to-air missile deal, which the administration claimed was for defense. Before the Saudis and the Houthis reached a truce at the end of March 2022, Riyadh launched heavy airstrikes in Yemen, and it was one of the deadliest periods of the war for Yemeni civilians.

Saudi Arabia and the Houthis have negotiated a peace deal, but it hasn’t been finalized as new US sanctions are blocking it from being implemented. The US has said it would lift the sanctions and stop its new bombing campaign in Yemen if the Houthis halted attacks on commercial shipping, which the group started in response to the Israeli onslaught in Gaza. But the Houthis say they will only stop once there’s a ceasefire in Gaza, which Biden refuses to call for.

The US has been in talks with Saudi Arabia about a potential deal that would involve the normalization of Saudi-Israeli ties. In exchange, Saudi Arabia is looking for a mutual defense commitment from the US and assistance in establishing a civilian nuclear program. But there are major impediments to the deal, as the Saudis want Israel to make commitments toward a Palestinian state, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ruled out the idea of Palestinian statehood in any post-war scenario.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.