U.N. Special Envoy for the Middle East and North Africa Nicholas Haggis said Tuesday that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is “fully committed to supporting the legitimate government of Syria” and will provide a “full spectrum” of “essential” equipment to help it fight the Islamic State group, including a fleet of new air defence systems and anti-tank missiles.
The U.A.E. will also send “more than a dozen fighter jets,” a U.R.C.P.A., a U-2 reconnaissance plane and “a range of munitions,” the U-N said in a statement.
Saudi Arabia will also deploy four MIG-29 UAVs, the UAV for ground-to-air combat that can shoot down a fighter jet.
Haggis also told reporters that the United States and the Kingdom are “firmly committed” to fighting the Islamic States, which the U!
says has killed more than 3,000 civilians since the beginning of the year.
The Kingdom has also said it is “ready to support any other countries and forces in Syria that need our help.”
Saudi Arabia has been sending the U,N.
Security Council a $1.6 billion (1.1 billion euro) package of aid, including medical supplies and humanitarian aid.
But the U&dS.
has demanded that the aid be kept under wraps, as U.B.C.-based Human Rights Watch has warned that Riyadh has violated its own embargo on arms exports.
The Saudis have said that the arms deal was done to boost the Kingdom’s security, but critics have called it a thinly veiled attempt to destabilise the Middle Eastern country.
U.S.-backed rebels in Syria have been fighting the Syrian government and Islamic State militants, while Saudi Arabia, a U!
K.-based ally of President Bashar al-Assad, has been fighting rebels from the Gulf States, including Iran.
On Sunday, the Saudi government, backed by a U.-led coalition, bombed a rebel-held town in Idlib province, killing scores of people and destroying several residential buildings.
The rebels had been advancing on a major government-held area.