The US government has obtained intelligence that Saudi Arabia has significantly escalated its ballistic missile program with the help of China.
The previously unreported classified intelligence indicates Saudi Arabia has expanded both its missile infrastructure and technology through recent purchases from China, CNN reports.
Satellite imagery, first reported by the Washington Post in January, suggested the Kingdom had constructed a ballistic missile factory. According to analysts, the images appear to match technology produced by China.
Satellite images dated November 13, 2018 show a suspected ballistic missile factory at a missile base in Al-Watah, Saudi Arabia. It was initially discovered by Planet Labs and the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. A second image of the same missile facility obtained by CNN shows a similar level of activity at the site on May 14, 2019, according to Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Middlebury Institute.
In his interview with CBS’s 60 Minutes last March, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman said: “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.”