The US to deploy a large number of forces to Saudi Arabia
The United States announced on Friday a new, large deployment of forces to Saudi Arabia to help bolster the kingdom’s defenses following the Sept. 14 attack on its oil facilities by Yemeni Ansarullah forces.
Iran Press/ Middle East: The deployment is part of a series of what the United States has described as defensive moves following the attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities last month, which rattled global energy markets and exposed major gaps in Saudi Arabia’s air defenses.
Meanwhile today hours before the Pentagon announcement, one Iranian oil tanker called SABITi owned by the NITC, has been hit this morning in two separate blasts, in the 60 miles off the Saudi Arabian port of Jeddah at 5:00 am and 5:20 am.
Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi slammed Friday's rocket attack to the Iranian oil tanker in the Red Sea.
The planned deployment, which was first reported by Reuters, will include fighter squadrons, one air expeditionary wing, and air defense personnel, the Pentagon said.
The Pentagon said it was sending two additional Patriot batteries and one Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system (THAAD).
“Taken together with other deployments, this constitutes an additional 3,000 forces that have been extended or authorized within the last month,” Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement.
It was unclear whether some of the newly announced troops might replace other American forces expected to depart the region in the coming weeks or months.
Taken along with other deployments of fighters, bombers, and air defense troops during the spring and summer, the US military has boosted its troop presence in the Middle East by approximately 14,000 since May, Hoffman added.
After the attack took placed against the Saudi Aramco oil installations, the US quickly blamed Iran for the attacks and its Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo tweeting that "Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world's energy supply."
Yemen's Ansarallah who has been fighting an imposed war by the Saudi-UAE-led coalition since 2015, claimed responsibility for the attacks, warning Saudi Arabia that their target list "will keep on expanding".
Iran has denied any involvement in the Aramco attacks and has issued a stern warning that it would retaliate against any attack that targeted it.