Washington: The US is to send an additional 3,000 troops to Saudi Arabia “to assure and enhance” the country’s security in the wake of the Aramco oil attacks, the Pentagon announced yesterday.
Defence Secretary Mark Esper said the US was sending two more Patriot missile batteries, one THAAD ballistic missile interception system, two fighter squadrons and one air expeditionary wing.
It came as Iran claimed yesterday that one of its oil tankers had been struck with missiles off the coast of Saudi Arabia in an incident shrouded in mystery.
TankerTrackers, which monitors oil exports, said there was no independent evidence to suggest the vessel had been hit.
The new deployment means that, since May, the US has sent an additional 14,000 members of the armed forces into the region.
“Secretary Esper informed Saudi Crown Prince and Minister of Defence Mohammed bin Salman this morning of the additional troop deployment to assure and enhance the defence of Saudi Arabia,” the Pentagon said in a statement yesterday.
“As we have stated, the US does not seek conflict with the Iranian regime, but we will retain a robust military capability in the region that is ready to respond to any crisis and will defend US forces and interest in the region.”
The announcement came just days after President Donald Trump declared all US troops would be pulled out of Syria.