The Pentagon is getting ready to deploy 500 troops to Saudi Arabia because it beefs up its army presence within the Middle East amid escalating tensions with Iran.
CNN reported, citing two U.S. defense officers, that the troops are expected to go to the Prince Sultan Air Base situated close to the Saudi capital of Riyadh. The New York Times later confirmed the report.
Cmdr. Rebecca Rebarich, a pentagon spokeswoman, informed The Hill there’s “no official announcement right now,” including that “U.S. Central Command frequently works to handle our pressure posture within the area and can continue to do this in cooperation with our companions and allies in the area.”
The Pentagon announced last month it was sending an extra 1,000 troops to the area for defensive purposes, particularly citing tensions with Iran.
“The USA doesn’t seek conflict with Iran,” former Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan stated during the announcement. “The action today is being taken to make sure the security and welfare of our army personnel working all through the area and to guard our national interests.”
The 500 troops going to Saudi Arabia are a part of this deployment, based on CNN, and can be a part of a small number of troops and support personnel already on site. The connection between Washington and Tehran was further strained in latest days as Tehran introduced it had exceeded limitations on its uranium enrichment imposed by an Obama-era nuclear pact. President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the agreement in 2018. However, international observers mentioned Iran was in compliance with the deal until lately.