Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have both acquired Chinese-made unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to meet urgent operational requirements arising from their military intervention in Yemen, it was revealed during a panel discussion held by the Atlantic Council think tank on 8 December.
"The drones the UAE is using in Yemen are Chinese because they failed to get US approval," US Marine Corps General (retired) James L Jones said. Gen Jones served as National Security Advisor in 2009-2010 and is now affiliated with the Atlantic Council.
Nawaf Obaid, a former advisor to the Saudi ambassadors to the United Kingdom and the United States, immediately added "that is true, us too", indicating Saudi Arabia has also acquired Chinese UAVs because it could not obtain US ones.
"[The UAVs are] an example of things we could have done, but we didn't do, and now people who are more agile have been able to send drones to the UAE," Jones said. "We have a serious problem in the way and the speed with which we come to the aid of our friends and allies with equipment."