WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump has approved the deployment of US forces to Saudi Arabia and UAE.
“The president has approved the deployment of US forces which will be defensive in nature and primarily focused on air and missile defence,” US Defense Secretary Mark Esper was quoted as saying on Friday evening (local time by Sputnik.
The US Defense Secretary noted that the US doesn’t seek war with Iran, but “has other oons” as well. He said that a “layered defence” could better protect the kingdom in the event of being “swarmed” by drones or missiles, but noted that no system can prevent all such attacks.
The move comes in response to findings by the US and Saudi intelligence that last weekend’s attack on two Saudi Aramco oil facilities in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province did not come from Yemen, as that country’s Houthi movement claimed, but was launched from Iran.
The decision also comes days after the drone attack on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia. Yemen’s Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the attack. However, the US and Saudi officials had accused Iran of being behind the attack. The charges were denied by Tehran.
A few days ago, US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo had described the attack on Saudi oil facilities as an “act of war.” After meeting Saudi Crown Prince, Pompeo had in a tweet said that the US stands with Saudi Arabia and supports its right to defend itself.
“Met with #Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman today to discuss the unprecedented attacks against Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure. The U.S. stands with #SaudiArabia and supports its right to defend itself. The Iranian regime’s threatening behaviour will not be tolerated,” he had said in a tweet on September 19.