President Donald Trump and Saudi King Salman
President Donald Trump and Saudi King SalmanReuters

The US State Department has approved the potential sale of 3,000 precision guided munitions to Saudi Arabia in a deal valued at up to $290 billion, the Pentagon said on Tuesday, according to Reuters.

The package would include 3,000 GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb I (SDB I) munitions, containers, support equipment, spares and technical support, the Pentagon said.

“The proposed sale will improve Saudi Arabia’s capability to meet current and future threats by increasing its stocks of long-range, precision air-to-ground munitions,” it in a statement quoted by Reuters.

The statement added that “the size and accuracy of the SDB I allows for an effective munition with less collateral damage.”

News of the sale comes in the final days of US President Donald Trump’s term. President-elect Joe Biden has pledged to halt arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

The report also comes amid tensions between US lawmakers and the White House over the 2018 murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the US consulate in Istanbul.

Trump reaffirmed his support for Saudi Arabia, despite the murder of Khashoggi, insisting the US-Saudi Arabian alliance is beneficial not only for American interests, but also for those of Israel.

Lawmakers from both parties, meanwhile, had called for a strong US response to Khashoggi's murder.