News Flash

US Anti Missile Batteries

Removal of US anti-missile batteries from the Middle East; Mechanical or Diplomatic

TBL web desk

The Wall Street Journal on Friday reported that eight Patriot anti-missile batteries would be withdrawn from Iraq, Kuwait, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia as the White House looks to more pressing threats from Russia and China.

The Pentagon is pulling about eight Patriot antimissile batteries from Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kuwait, and Jordan, as well as a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system from Saudi Arabia that had been deployed by the previous Trump administration, the Wall Street Journal reported citing unnamed US officials.

But contrary to these claims, Arabian media outlet Alarabiya News reported that discussions by US officials to remove anti-missile batteries from countries in the Middle East have to do with mechanical issues as opposed to a policy shift away from traditional allies in the region.

“The Secretary of Defense directed the Commander of US Central Command to remove from the region this summer certain forces and capabilities, primarily air defense assets. Some of these assets will be returned to the United States for much-needed maintenance and repair. Some of them will be redeployed to other regions,” Al Arabiya English reported citing Pentagon Spokesperson Commander Jessica L. McNulty.

The US deployed Patriot antimissile batteries and troops to Saudi Arabia after Iranian drone attacks hit Saudi oil facilities and to Iraq in 2020 after a spate of missile and rocket attacks on US forces by Iran and Iranian-backed militias.

President Joe Biden, who took over from former President Donald Trump in January, has sought to de-escalate tensions in the Middle East and US diplomats have been engaged in indirect talks with Iran on reviving the Iran nuclear deal.

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