US to deploy Patriot battery and additional troops to Saudi Arabia

27 September 2019 (Last Updated September 30th, 2019 14:57)

The US Government is deploying a Patriot air defence battery and additional troops to Saudi Arabia to beef up security in the country following a recent attack on oil fields.

US to deploy Patriot battery and additional troops to Saudi Arabia
Patriot Missile battery. Credits : DoD photo by Glenn Fawcett/Released.

The US Government is deploying a Patriot air defence battery and additional troops to Saudi Arabia to beef up security in the country following a recent attack on oil fields.

Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities were targeted by drone and cruise missile attacks.

The kingdom had to cut oil production as a result of the attacks, which were allegedly carried out by Iran.

In a release on 26 September, the US Department of Defense (DoD) announced that in addition to one Patriot battery, the deployment will include four Sentinel radars and around 200 support personnel.

Chief Pentagon Spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman said: “This deployment will augment the kingdom’s air and missile defence of critical military and civilian infrastructure. This deployment augments an already significant presence of US Forces in the region.”

Additionally, the DoD has authorised putting additional defence systems on ‘Prepare To Deploy Orders (PTDO)’.

The additional forces include two Patriot missile batteries and one Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system (THAAD).

Hoffman added: “It is important to note these steps are a demonstration of our commitment to regional partners, and the security and stability in the Middle East. This follows the secretary and chairman’s extensive outreach to partners in the region, and around the globe.”

The additional support is being extended in response to a request from Saudi Arabia.

The deployment is defensive in nature and the US does not want to go to war with Iran, US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said last week.

In June, an Iranian missile shot down a US military surveillance drone in the Gulf.