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US deploying 3,000 more troops to S Arabia: Pentagon


PTI Washington DC
Updated: 12-10-2019 00:54 IST
US deploying 3,000 more troops to S Arabia: Pentagon

Representative image Image Credit: ANI

The Pentagon said Friday it has approved the deployment of 3,000 additional troops and military hardware to Saudi Arabia, boosting the country's defenses after attacks on its oil installations blamed on Iran. US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper authorized the deployment of two more Patriot missile batteries, one THAAD ballistic missile interception system, two fighter squadrons and one air expeditionary wing, the Pentagon said in a statement.

"Secretary Esper informed Saudi Crown Prince and Minister of Defense Mohammed bin Salman this morning of the additional troop deployment to assure and enhance the defense of Saudi Arabia," it said. "Taken together with other deployments this constitutes an additional 3,000 forces that have been extended or authorized within the last month," it said.

Esper later told reporters that the deployments were in response "to continued threats in the region" and came after a conversation with bin Salman about "efforts to protect from further Iranian aggression." The Saudi prince had requested additional support, Esper said. Since May, the US has increased the number of its forces by about 14,000 in the Central Command area covering the Middle East, the defense department said.

In September, the US announced the deployment of 200 troops as well as Patriot missiles to the kingdom in the wake of the attacks on Saudi oil installations blamed on Iran. Friday's announcement came after the owner of an Iranian oil tanker said suspected missile strikes hit the vessel off the Saudi west coast port of Jeddah, raising fresh concerns about Middle East oil supply.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

COUNTRY : United States