The deployment occurred days ago in response to possible Iranian ballistic missile and drone aggression
United States F-22 aircraft (Air Force US)
United States Central Command (CENTCOM) recently launched warplanes towards Iranfrom its base in the Persian Gulf after receiving reports that the country was preparing to attack Saudi Arabia, The Washington Post reported during over the weekend.
The launch came days ago, after Riyadh warned the United States that Iran was planning an attack on both Saudi Arabia and Iraq< /b>, added the Wall Street Journal.
In response to the credible threat of Iranian ballistic missile and drone attacks, the US military also raised its alert level, with the White House National Security Council saying it was “concerned about the threat” and in constant contact. with the Gulf country.
“CENTCOM is committed to our long-standing strategic military partnership with Saudi Arabia,” command spokesman Joe Buccio told the Washington Post on Saturday. “We are not going to discuss the details of the operation,” he added.
Although the exact place from which the planes were launched is not clear, the US maintains important assets aircraft in the Persian Gulf, including F-22 fighter jets in Saudi Arabia.
The deployment, details the Washington Post, evidence that despite its furious reaction to last month's Saudi decision to cut oil production in the face of global shortages, and despite threats of retaliation, the Biden government is betting that the narrow The decades-old security relationship between Washington and Riyadh can be salvaged.
Those ties, and a commitment to help protect their strategic partners – especially all against Iran – they are part of US defenses in the Middle East.
There are currently some 2,500 US forces in Saudi Arabia, many of them involved in intelligence work and high-tech training. The United States is the supplier of nearly three-quarters of all weapons systems used by the Saudi military, including constantly needed parts, repairs, and upgrades.
Military sales to the kingdom have been the subject of repeated controversy in recent years, as many in Congress have opposed them. While President Donald Trump, who has bragged about potential US sales to the Saudis, vetoed attempts by Congress to stop certain transactions, Biden banned the kingdom from buying US offensive weapons shortly after taking office.
U.S. President Joe Biden gathers at Al Salman Palace upon his arrival in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on July 15, 2022.
Since then, there have been two major Saudi purchases, of air-to-air missiles and spare missiles for Patriot air defense batteries. Another order for 300 Patriot missiles – at more than $3 million each – was approved by the State Department in August, after a visit by Biden to the kingdom, in which he allegedly believed he had cemented a deal with the crown prince to not reduce oil production.
Although Congress did not formally oppose the new sale within 30 days, there has been no public indication that the next step in the transaction: the signing of a contract with the Department of Defense. The Pentagon has “nothing to announce at this time” regarding the sale, spokesman Lt. Col. Cesar Santiago said Friday.
Although two US-controlled Patriot systems remain in Saudi Arabia to protect US personnel from missile attacks by Houthi rebels in Yemen, and presumably Iran, the bulk of the systems used there were acquired by the Saudis years ago and belong to the kingdom.
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