July 20, 2019 - 12:53 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The United States has authorised the deployment of military personnel and resources to Saudi Arabia, the Pentagon says, to provide “an additional deterrent” in the face of “emergent, credible threats” in the region, The Guardian reports.
The move, agreed in conjunction with the kingdom, aims to boost regional security as tensions in the Gulf mount over Iran’s standoff with the US over sanctions and the 2015 nuclear agreement, and Tehran’s seizure of two British-linked vessels in the strait of Hormuz on Friday.
Saudi Arabia’s defence ministry confirmed the deployment.
“Based on mutual cooperation between Saudi Arabia and the United States of America, and their desire to enhance everything that could preserve the security of the region and its stability ... King Salman gave his approval to host American forces,” a ministry spokesman was quoted by Saudi state news agency SPA as saying.
In June, the Pentagon said it would deploy 1,000 troops to the Middle East but did not say where they were going.
Saudi Arabia has not hosted US forces since 2003 when they withdrew following the end of the war with Iraq.
The US presence in Saudi Arabia lasted 12 years, starting with Operation Desert Storm in 1991, when Iraq invaded Kuwait.
As many as 200 US aircraft were stationed at the Prince Sultan air base, around 80 km (50 miles) south of the capital at the peak of the Iraq war, and as many as 2,700 missions a day were handled by the headquarters in Saudi Arabia.