DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The US State Department has approved a possible foreign military sale to the United Arab Emirates for more than 14,000 Paveway guided bombs and Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) kits worth an estimated $785 million.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of the pending sale July 15. The proposed deal comes as US Secretary of State John Kerry met with his counterparts — Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed of the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir and recently appointed British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson in London on July 20 to discuss ongoing operations in Yemen.
The UAE has been involved in air operations in Yemen since March 23, 2015. The country's pilots are also flying sorties for Operation Inherent Resolve in Syria as part of a coalition fighting the Islamic State group.
The new UAE weapons request is for 7,700 Paveway II GBU-10 guidance kits with 7,700 Mk-84/BLU-117 bombs. A further 5,940 Paveway II GBU-12 guidance kits with 5,940 Mk-82/BLU-111 bombs were ordered.
Also part of the deal are 500 GBU-31V1 JDAM guidance kits with 500 Mk-84/BLU- 117 bombs, plus an additional 500 JDAM guidance kits with 500 BLU-109 bombs and 14,640 FMU-152 fuzes.
Despite the ongoing peace talks in Kuwait, the Yemen war rages on. Last month, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said that UAE military operations will stop, but he later retracted his statement claiming that the operations would continue.
Gargash said on his Twitter account on July 20 that the US, UK , Saudi Arabian and UAE foreign ministers had all agreed on continued international support in Yemen, pushing for a political solution to the standoff.
"It is evident in the quartet meeting in London [that] coordination of synergies between regional and international powers is increasing, which will support our political efforts in the next phase. It is important that the Yemenis are aware of the importance of the opportunity (of the peace talks) in Kuwait and put the national interest above partisan ambitions," Garagsh said in a tweet.
He stated that the quartet meeting agreed that the success of the political solution begins with the withdrawal of Houthi militias from Sanaa and other civilian centers.