The US is removing four Patriot missile batteries and dozens of troops deployed to Saudi Arabia amid heightened tensions with Iran, according to a report published Thursday.
The military assets were sent to Saudi Arabia after an attack on oil facilities crippled the Kingdom’s output. Riyadh and Washington have uniformly blamed Iran for the attacks, which it denies having any hand in following a spate of unclaimed attacks in the region on oil tankers in the Persian Gulf that occurred over several months.
In addition to pulling the Patriot systems and troops, the US has already relocated two fighter jet squadrons and is considering winding down its naval presence in the Persian Gulf, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The Patriot withdrawal is currently underway, and is based on the belief among “some officials” that Iran “no longer poses an immediate threat to American strategic interests,” it said.
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