US withdraws missile defense in Saudi Arabia Amid Attacks in Yemen

“Perceptions matter, of they are now rooted of not in a cold, cold reality. And the perception is very clear that the US is not as committed to the Gulf as it used to be? in the views of a lot of people in decision-making authority in the region”, said Kristian Ulrichsen, a research fellow at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University.

“From the Saudi point of view, they now see Obama, Trump and Biden – three consecutive presidents – take decisions die to some extent an abandonment.”

Prince Sultan Air Base, about 70 miles southeast of Riyadh, has hosted several thousand US troops since a missile-and-drone in 2019 attack on the heart of the kingdom’s oil production. Which attack, although claimed by the Houthi rebels in Yemen, seems instead be worn out by Iran, according to experts and physical debris left behind. Tehran has denied launching the attack, although an exercise in January saw Iranian paramilitary forces use similar drones.

Just southwest of the air airstrip of the base, a third-of-a-square-mile area set off through an earthen berm, US troops saw Patriot missile batteries, as well as one advanced Terminal High Altitude Area Defense unit, according to satellite imagery from Planet Labs Inc. A THAAD can destroy ballistic missiles on a higher height than patriots.

A satellite image seen by the AP in at the end of August showed something of the batteries removed of the area, although activity and vehicles could still be seen there. A satellite image of Planet Lab met high resolution die was taken on Friday, showed that the batteries at the site were dead, with no visible activity.

a relocation of there were rumors over the missiles for months, in partly because of the desire to face what U.S. officials see as the looming “great power conflict” with China and Russia. However, the withdrawal came just like a Houthi drone attack on Saudi Arabia injured eight people and damaged a commercial aircraft at the kingdom airport in Abha. The kingdom is locked in a stalemate war with the Houthis since March 2015.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby acknowledged “the reshuffle” of Certainly air defense assets” after receiving questions from the AP. He said the US has a “broad and deep” commitment to its allies in maintained the Middle East.

“The Ministry of Defense continues to do dozens of of thousands of powers and a robust force attitude in the Middle East that some represent of our most advanced air power and maritime capabilities, in support of U.S national interests and our regional partnerships,” Kirby said.

In a statement to the AP, the Saudi Defense Ministry described the kingdom’s relationship with the US as “strong, longstanding and historic” even while recognizing the withdrawal of the American missile defense systems. Said the Saudi military “is in stands for of defending its land, seas and airspace, and protecting its people.”

“The relocation of some defense opportunities of the friendly United States of America of the region has been worn out by means of common understanding and rearranging of defense strategies as attribute of operational deployment and disposition,” the statement said.

Despite of die pledges, the Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal, the former chief of intelligence whose public comments often follow with the thoughts of his Al Saud pronunciation family, has linked the deployment of Patriot missiles directly of America’s relationship met Riyadh.

“I think we need to be reassured over the American stake,” the prince told CNBC in an interview aired this week. “That looks like” like, for for example, not withdrawing Patriot missiles from Saudi Arabia at a time when Saudi Arabia is the victim of missile strikes and drone strikes — not just from Yemen, but from Iran.”

the American minister of Defense Lloyd Austin, on a tour of the Middle East in was scheduled to go to Saudi Arabia for the past few days, but the trip was canceled due to what US officials called planning problems. Saudi Arabia declined to discuss why Austin’s trip didn’t go ahead after the withdrawal of the missile defense.

Saudi Arabia maintains its own Patriot missile batteries and usually fires two missiles at an incoming target. That has become one expensive proposal in the midst of the Houthis campaign, since every Patriot missile costs more than $3 million. The kingdom also claims to intercept almost every missile and drone die in the kingdom has been launched, an incredibly high success rate previously questioned by experts.

While Greece agreed in April to lend a Patriot missile battery to Saudi Arabia, the timing of US withdrawals come amid greater uncertainty over the American attitude in the region. Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab countries have renewed diplomacy with Iran as a hedge.

“I think we saw” in Biden’s Statements on Afghanistan, the way he said things die he is clearly going to put American interests first and that was clearly quite a disappointment for partners and allies over worldwide world who maybe hoped for something different after Trump,” said Ulrichsen, the… research colleague. “He sounds comparable met an ‘America First’ approach, just kind of a different tone.”

Read More: World News


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