American Troops To Be Sent To Saudi Arabia Over Tensions With Iran

Army soldiers giving salute from behind

The United States is preparing to send hundreds of troops to Saudi Arabia where satellite images appear to show a build up of American forces on the ground.

CNN reported, citing two USA defense officers, that the troops are expected to go to the Prince Sultan Air Base situated close to the Saudi capital of Riyadh.

Preparations were underway at the base for a Patriot missile defense battery, a runway and airfield improvements, officials told CNN, which was the first to report the deployment.

Satellite Imagery captured in late June and early July appear to show preparations being made to the site ahead of the deployment of U.S. troops. "The encampment to the east of the runway is typical of Air Force engineering squadrons deployed overseas", he said.

The US hopes to be able to fly stealth, fifth-generation F-22 jets and other fighters from the base, according to officials.

With officials trying to present this as something to do with Iran, this is a continuation of a USA military buildup across the Middle East that has been ongoing for months, each if which ends up being justified by some non-specific Iranian "provocation".

The deployment to the kingdom comes amid criticism of the US government's support for a Saudi-led coalition waging a war against Houthi rebels in Yemen.

The Trump administration has sent 2,000 troops to the region specifically to deter Iran.

The passing of the resolutions shows Congress' disapproval of US military support for the oil-rich nation and frustration that Trump has sought to bypass Congressional approval for weapons sales.

Amid rising tensions between Iran and the U.S. last month, Mr Trump said he was not seeking war with the country but warned, if pushed, the country would face "obliteration like you've never seen before". But the law also allows the president to waive that review process by declaring an emergency that requires the sale be made "in the national security interests of the United States". "These are countries that are already using American-made weapons in a campaign in Yemen that resulted in innocent civilians being targeted and killed", David Cicilline, a Rhode Island-based Democratic Congressman told Newsweek.

The moves would likely strengthen the US' controversial relationship with Saudi Arabia, while also responding to rising tensions with Iran which escalated dramatically in recent months.

The US has been supporting a 2015-present Saudi-led war against Yemen that seeks to bring back the impoverished country's former Riyadh-backed officials.

Tens of thousands have died since the onset of the war, and the entire Yemen has been pushed close to the edge of outright starvation.

U.S. lawmakers are putting pressure on Trump to suspend military relations with Riyadh, after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last October.

A year after the war was launched, Trump made his maiden foreign visit to Saudi Arabia, announcing more than $100 billion in arms sales to the kingdom.



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