The Pentagon has just announced that “Roughly 1,800 U.S. service members, as well as several dozen fighter jets and other air defense implements, will be sent to Saudi Arabia to help protect the Kingdom amid heightened tensions with Iran.”
In a briefing at the Pentagon, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper told reporters “Saudi Arabia is a longstanding security partner in the Middle East and has asked for additional support to supplement their own defense and defend the international rules-based order.”
Heightened tension has been increasing ever since Iran launched a drone attack on Saudi oil facilities on September 14th. The attacks displayed a dangerous vulnerability of Saudi Arabia’s ability to defend itself and its oil plants.
Earlier today Iranian official claimed two missiles hit one of their oil tankers in the Red Sea just 60 miles from the coast of Saudi Arabia. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi declared the incident an “attack” and that investigation is underway.
According to the Associated Press, “the heightened tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia have led the U.S. to pour about 14,000 more U.S. troops into he region since May, including additional ships to maintain maritime security in the Persian Gulf area.”
In addition to the newest deployments, just last month the U.S. sent “one Patriot missile battery and four ground-based radar systems, with about 200 troops. The three deployments involve a total of 3,000 troops.” These are in addition to a “broad array of ships and other military support that was sent earlier this year to counter Iranian threats against allied and commercial ships in the Persian Gulf region.”