WASHINGTON—The Obama administration plans to sell advanced F-15 fighter jets to Saudi Arabia but won’t equip them with long-range weapons systems and other arms whose inclusion was strongly opposed by Israel, diplomats and officials said.
The proposed $30 billion, 10-year arms package, which would be one of the biggest single deals of its kind, has been a source of behind-the-scenes tension during months of negotiations. Israeli officials have repeatedly conveyed their concerns in private that the U.S. risks undermining its military advantage by equipping regional rivals with top-flight technologies.
U.S. officials say they provided “clarifications” in recent weeks about the deal to help damp Israel’s qualms. Two officials close to the negotiations said Israel still had some reservations, but that the country isn’t expected to challenge the sale by lobbying Congress, which can hold up the deal or push for assurances of its own. The administration is expected to formally notify Congress of its plans as early as next month.
US HANDS OVER MILITARY BASE TO IRAQ