According to satellite imagery accompanied by U.S. intelligence reports, Saudi Arabia, with the help of China, is building its own ballistic missile system. They didn’t even bother to at least inform the Biden administration of its intent.
Not exactly a comforting thought, coming from one of our supposed allies in the Middle East. The intel was gathered after our satellites captured imagery at a site to the west of Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, which indicated that several facilities had already been converted to facilitate the process required in constructing a ballistic missile system.
“The key piece of evidence is that the facility is operating a ‘burn pit’ to dispose of solid-propellant leftover from the production of ballistic missiles,” stated David Schmerler of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute.
Schmerler added that they believe the site, “appears to have been constructed with Chinese assistance.”
According to reliable intel sources, US officials, including the National Security Council at the White House, have been briefed within recent months that highly sensitive ballistic missile technology between China and Saudi Arabia have been shared between the two countries.
CNN Exclusive: #US🇺🇸 intel and satellite images show Saudi Arabia🇸🇦 is now building its own ballistic missiles with help of China🇨🇳— Talha ahmad (@talhaahmad967) December 23, 2021
"#SaudiArabia is known to have purchased ballistic missiles from #China in the past but has never been able to build its own — until now" pic.twitter.com/vS9p0kSEIq
The collaboration between China and Saudi Arabia will no doubt change the balance of power within the Middle East, and most likely encourage Iran, Saudi Arabia’s mortal enemy, to increase their ability to get a nuclear weapon of their own. This puts them on a direct collision course with both the United States and the state of Israel, which has vowed that Iran will never acquire a nuclear weapon.
Mark Fitzpatrick, an associate fellow at the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, wrote in an article discussing Saudi Arabia’s missile program, “If Iran were to enter into negotiations over its missile program, it would be unlikely to accept limits that did not also apply to other countries.”
Back in 2018, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia acknowledged in a CBS interview that, “Saudi Arabia does not want to acquire any nuclear bomb, but without a doubt if Iran developed a nuclear bomb, we will follow suit as soon as possible.”
China’s direct involvement in assisting Saudi Arabia’s pursuit of a ballistic missile system within the region complicates an already tentative situation even further.
Jeffrey Lewis, a weapons expert and professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, told CNN, “While significant attention has been focused on Iran’s large ballistic missile program, Saudi Arabia’s development and now production of ballistic missiles has not received the same level of scrutiny.”
Lewis continued by adding, “The domestic production of ballistic missiles by Saudi Arabia suggests that any diplomatic effort to control missile proliferation would need to involve other regional actors, like Saudi Arabia and Israel that produce their own ballistic missiles.”
Meanwhile, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs acknowledged in an official statement to CNN that it is working with Saudi Arabia as “comprehensive strategic partners”, maintaining that “such cooperation does not violate any international law and does not involve the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.”
Saudi Arabia, whether we like to admit it or not, is more aligned with China’s ideology concerning human rights volition’s within their respective repressive countries. Least we forget, 15 of the 19 September 11th highjackers came from Saudi Arabia.