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BREAKING: US Removing Its Patriot Missile Systems from Saudi Arabia


Today the Pentagon announced it will be removing four of its patriot missile batteries from Saudi Arabia, apparently as part of a planned rotation of its military hardware in the region. US officials have stated that they plan to still maintain ‘robust capabilities’ in the Middle East to counter Iran.

The four batteries of Patriot surface-to-air missiles were deployed to the Arabian Penninsula last year following attacks by Yemen’s Houthi rebels on Saudi Aramco oil facilities.

In addition to the draw-down of missiles, dozens of military personnel and technicians will also leave the sites and be reassigned, said US officials to the Wall Street Journal.

Also, two US fighter jet squadrons have also been reassigned, and US officials hinted that they may also consider a reduction in the Naval assets in the Persian Gulf.

Pentagon officials intimated that reductions are based on an assessment by the Trump administration’s National Security strategists that Iran no longer poses an immediate threat to US interests in the wider region.

This development could also signal a possible draw-down of remaining US forces illegally occupying northeastern Syria, although the US had just deployed two other sets of Patriot missile batteries in Iraq in order to “to protect Iraqi, coalition, and U.S. service members from a variety of air threats,” but Pentagon officials declined to say at the time whether these were in fact operational.

“For operational security reasons, we are not providing status updates as those systems come online,” said Pentagon spokesman Cmdr. Sean Robertson to Stars and Stripes.

The systems were deployed to Irbil in Iraq’s Kurdistan region, and to al Asad Air Base in Anbar province.

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