Saudi Arabia fuels surge in Mideast arms imports: report

A European armed conflict watchdog says Middle East arms imports increased by 25% from 2011 to 2020.

By World Israel News Staff

According to a report published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on Monday, arms imports in the Middle East have increased significantly over the past decade, with Saudi Arabia identified as a key cause of the growth in sales.

SIPRI reported that arms imports increased by 25% between 2011 and 2020.

According to the institute’s findings, arms sales in the Mideast surged, notwithstanding a lack of meaningful change in the military hardware market throughout the rest of the world.

The Mideast spike in arms imports ramped up in the second half of the period studied, SIPRI added, connecting that trend with intensifying conflicts in the region.

Among those conflicts were battles between ISIS terrorists and state militaries in Syria and Iraq and Yemen’s battle with the Iran-backed Houthis.

Former President Donald Trump officially designated the Houthis as a terrorist group, but President Joe Biden immediately removed the designation when he took office.

To that end, Saudi Arabia, which has contended with rocket fire from the Houthis, increased its arms imports by 61%, accounting for a large portion of the uptick SIPRI observed.

SIPRI also identified Egypt as a major arms consumer, increasing its imports by 136%, with formerly embargoed Qatar upping its its imports by 361% following the end of the embargo placed on it.

The Saudis and their allies put an arms embargo on Qatar because of its support for terrorist groups.