On his second day in Saudi Arabia, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo went to American troops after going over security issues over Iran with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
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Pompeo met with US military leaders at a Saudi airbase where about 2,500 US troops are stationed in reaction to viewed hazards from the Islamic Republic.
The base consists of a squadron of US Air Force F-15 E fighter jets that fly daily objectives over Iraq and Syria and 2 American Patriot rocket batteries prepared to tear down any Iranian attack versus the kingdom.
“Pompeo’s visit to Prince Sultan air base and a nearby US Patriot battery highlights the longstanding US-Saudi security relationship and reaffirms America’s determination to stand with Saudi Arabia in the face of Iranian malign behaviour,” the State Department stated in a declaration.
Pompeo stated the American military existence is a kind of deterrence “to deliver us to a place where I, as secretary of state, can get the diplomatic outcome that the president is seeking”.
The US started developing its military existence in the kingdom last summertime as President Donald Trump and his oil-rich ally Riyadh implicated Iran of assaulting tankers in the Gulf and Saudi oil setups, occurrences that roiled global energy markets in 2015.
Tehran rejects participation in the attacks and Riyadh has actually given that appeared excited to participate in mindful diplomacy to reduce friction.
Stress in the area additional increased up following the US assassination of Iran’s top military leader Qassem Soleimani as he was going to Iraq on January 3.
The relocation activated Iranian retaliation with rocket strikes targeting Iraqi military bases real estate US troops.
Prior to his departure to Saudi Arabia, Pompeo stated he prepared to raise US issues over the kingdom’s human rights record.
Some Saudi- American residents have actually been sent to prison in the kingdom as part of a larger crackdown on viewed critics of the effective crown prince. They consist of Badr al-Ibrahim, an author and doctor, and Salah al-Haidar whose mom is popular women’s rights advocate Aziza al-Yousef, who deals with trial for her advocacy.
Others are disallowed from leaving Saudi Arabia such as Walid Fitaihi, a Boston-area doctor who was swept up in an anti-corruption campaign introduced by Crown Prince Mohammed in late 2017.
“The Saudis share our strategic objectives. They are an important ally and partner,” Pompeo informed press reporters Thursday.
“At the same time, we continue to make clear our expectations with respect to a broad range of human rights issues.”