The United States announced on Friday a new large-scale deployment of forces to Saudi Arabia. This is in response to an attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil refining facilities in mid-September. An attack that both Washington and Riyadh accused Iran of initiating. The attack disabled almost half the Kingdom’s oil refining capacity. This shook global energy markets and uncovered large gaps in Saudi air defense systems.
The new deployment, first reported by Reuters, will include fighter squadrons, an air wing, air defense personnel, along with two additional Patriot batteries and a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System (THAAD). It was unclear whether some of the newly announced troops are replacing other US forces expected to leave the region in the coming weeks or months. The deployment is part of a series of measures that the United States has described as defensive.
For its part, Iran rejects responsibility for the attacks.