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Old 05-11-2020, 02:23 PM
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Arrow Saudi Arabia to deploy its own missile-defence systems at oil facilities after US wit

Saudi Arabia to deploy its own missile-defence systems at oil facilities after US withdrawal
By: MEE Staff in Washington - 05-11-20

Riyadh will deploy two of its Patriot Advanced Capabilities-3 batteries to replace the US surface-to-air missiles.

Saudi Arabia has said it will deploy its own missile-defence systems to protect oil installations in the country's east, following reports that the US was withdrawing two of its Patriot missile batteries from the kingdom.

Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya reported on Monday that Riyadh would be deploying its Patriot Advanced Capabilities-3 (PAC-3) batteries in the kingdom's oil-rich eastern province to replace the US' Patriot surface-to-air missiles, which are meant to protect ground assets from missile and aircraft attacks.

PAC-3 missiles are frequently deployed by Saudi Arabia to intercept short-range ballistic missiles fired into Saudi territory by Yemen's Houthi rebels.

Al-Arabiya said the US would be leaving two Patriot missile batteries at Prince Sultan airbase, some 80km south of the capital Riyadh.

The US deployed the patriot batteries to the kingdom in late September after a series of drones and missiles targeted two Saudi oil facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais.

The attacks on the Saudi Aramco facilities shut down around 5.7m barrels per day of crude oil production, causing a spike in oil prices.

Yemen's Houthi group claimed responsibility for the attacks, but both Saudi Arabia and the United States blamed Iran, a charge Tehran denies.

Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Washington was withdrawing the batteries because "some officials" felt that Iran "no longer poses an immediate threat to American strategic interests."

The Journal said that in addition to withdrawing the Patriot systems and dozens of military personnel, the US was also considering winding down its naval presence in the Gulf.

Washington has already ordered the relocation of two fighter jet squadrons, it said.

'We've been taken advantage of'
The traditionally warm relationship between Saudi Arabia and the US has strained in recent weeks, largely due to a crash in oil prices due to a Saudi price war with Russia.

"We're making a lot of moves in the Middle East and elsewhere. We do a lot of things all over the world, militarily we've been taken advantage of all over the world," President Donald Trump said on Thursday, regarding the withdrawal of the missile systems.

"This has nothing to do with Saudi Arabia. This has to do with other countries, frankly, much more."

On Friday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed the Patriot missile withdrawal did not signal a decrease in support for the kingdom and was not related to the oil war.

Pompeo said the US still considered Iran a threat.

"Those Patriot batteries had been in place for some time. Those troops needed to get back," Pompeo told the Ben Shapiro radio show. "This was a normal rotation of forces."

In a statement, Saudi Arabia said Trump confirmed Washington's commitment to protecting its interests and the security of its allies in the region.

Trump also reiterated US support for efforts aimed at reaching a political solution to the crisis in Yemen, the statement said.


Personal note: Looks like all they did was pay rent on them and then went out and bought someone else's weapons. They got the money just didn't want to pay the price the US was asking for them.


O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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