Satellite images show that the United States has recently removed a significant number of its advanced missile defense systems and Patriot missile batteries from Saudi Arabia.
With the acquired photo Release The Associated Press reported that Prince Sultan Air Base previously had a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) unit, another missile defense system, and a Patriot missile provided by the United States. However, these batteries are no longer at the base, according to satellite images taken in late August and reviewed by AP.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said, “The Pentagon continues to maintain tens of thousands of troops and strong troops in the Middle East to support U.S. national interests and regional partnerships. Represents some of our state-of-the-art air force and maritime capabilities. ” An outlet that answers questions about moving. The Epoch Times is seeking comment from the Pentagon.
Over the past few years, during Saudi Arabia’s invasion of nearby Yemen, the country’s Houthi rebels have launched missiles and drone-attacked Saudi Arabian assets. Tehran has denied the allegations, but Washington blamed Iran for a strike, and the United States deployed two Patriot missile systems following an attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil-producing areas in 2019.
On September 5, Kingdom officials said they intercepted a ballistic missile launched by the Houthi rebels near the Saudi Arabian city of Dammam, according to news reports.
In a missile defense withdrawal, Saudi Arabia’s Prince Turki Alfaisal said in a recent interview that he wanted Washington to show his commitment to the kingdom and urged Americans to leave the country’s defense system. ..
“I think we need to reassure our commitment to the United States,” Alfaisal, a former intelligence director in Saudi Arabia, told CNBC. “For example, when Saudi Arabia is a victim of missile and drone strikes not only from Yemen but also from Iran, it does not appear to withdraw Patriot missiles from Saudi Arabia,” he added.
Meanwhile, when the United States withdrew from Afghanistan after decades of military occupation, questions were raised as to whether the Byden administration could fully protect US allies and interests around the world. The Afghan government collapsed into a Taliban militant group in less than two weeks, and the United States began carrying out chaotic and hasty evacuation interrupted by a terrorist attack that killed 13 military personnel in late August.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin recently traveled to several countries in the Middle East, but due to schedule issues, his planned trip to Saudi Arabia was abandoned. It is not clear if he will return to the kingdom in the near future.