US deploys air defence systems, troops to Saudi Arabia

US to deploy Patriot missiles, troops to Saudi Arabia after Aramco attacks
2 min read
26 September, 2019
Saudi Arabia, the US and a number of European leaders have blamed the strikes on Saudi Aramco facilities on Iran.
The US may deploy more air defence systems if needed [AFP]

The Pentagon said on Thursday it would send one Patriot missile battery and four radar systems to Saudi Arabia in a fresh troop deployment after the kingdom's air defences were breached in an attack on its oil facilities.

The deployment will involve about 200 troops.

Two more Patriot batteries and a THAAD missile defence system will be prepared to go later if needed.

The US last week announced it would deploy further troops and air defenses to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in the Trump administration's first move to protect the kingdom from further attacks blamed on Iran. 

The four Sentinel radar systems and the Patriot battery are designed to provide better surveillance across northern Saudi Arabia.

The kingdom's air defences have until now been focused on the south to protect the country from attacks by the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.

The Yemeni rebel group claimed the drone and missile strikes on two key Saudi Aramco facilities on 14 September, but Saudi Arabia, the US and a number of European leaders have since blamed the attacks on Iran.

The US has also implemented additional sanctions on Tehran in the wake of the attacks.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said earlier this week that both the US and Saudi Arabia had asked him to mediate with Iran to defuse rising tensions.

Read more: The sweeping implications of the attacks on Saudi Arabia's oil infrastructure

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