The United States has withdrawn its most advanced missile defense system and Patriot batteries from Saudi Arabia in recent weeks, satellite photos analyzed by The Associated Press show.

Iran PressMiddle East: The redeployment of the defenses from Prince Sultan Air Base outside of Riyadh came as America’s Persian Gulf Arab allies nervously watched the chaotic withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, including their last-minute evacuations from Kabul’s besieged international airport.

The Associated Press analyzed satellite footage from Plant Labs Inc., which showed that the Prince Sultan Air Base previously had a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense unit and a missile defense system in addition to Patriot missile batteries. Several batteries were no longer at the airbase.

The news outlet noted that the missile system and batteries appeared to be gone after analyzing photos taken on Friday.

Following inquiries from the AP, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby conceded that “certain air defense assets” had been redeployed.

“The Defense Department continues to maintain tens of thousands of forces and a robust force posture in the Middle East representing some of our most advanced air power and maritime capabilities, in support of US national interests and our regional partnerships,” Kirby told the AP.

Earlier this year, the Pentagon said that “certain forces and capabilities” would be pulled out of the Middle East.

“The secretary of Defense directed the commander of US Central Command to remove from the region this summer certain forces and capabilities, primarily air defense assets,” Pentagon spokeswoman Cmdr. Jessica McNulty said in a statement.

McNulty explained that the move was made in “close coordination with host nations” and that it was "about maintaining some of our high demand, low-density assets so they are ready for future requirements in the event of a contingency.”

Saudi Arabia's defense ministry also conceded in a statement to the AP that defense missiles had been removed but maintained the move was done through a “common understanding and realignment of defense strategies.”