Sources reported by Reuters news agency on Friday state that the United States is planning to send a large number of additional forces, possibly thousands, to Saudi Arabia following the September 14 Yemeni retaliation strike on the main Saudi oil facilities, which Washington and Riyadh have falsely pinned on Iran.
The Pentagon did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request to comment.
The sources did not specify exactly how many troops would be deployed or specify whether they would be replacing any other US forces that might be departing elsewhere in the region in the coming weeks or months.
The Pentagon has yet to announce, for example, whether it will replace the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln and its strike group when it eventually wraps up its deployment to the Middle East.
One of the sources said the United States was also considering deploying additional air defences to Saudi Arabia. This also could not be immediately confirmed, however.
The deployment is part of a series of what the United States has described as “defensive moves” following an attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities last month, which rattled global energy markets and exposed major gaps in Saudi Arabia’s air defence system.
Iran has responded to previous US troop deployments this year with apprehension. It denies responsibility for the attack on Saudi Arabia as well as attacks on oil tankers earlier this year.
The attacks on the Saudi oil refineries, which completely shut down Saudi oil exports for several days, have been claimed by Yemen as a retaliatory strike in response to the genocidal war waged by Saudi Arabia. However, Riyadh and its imperialist allies refuse to recognise Yemen’s defence capacities and instead have blamed the Islamic Republic of Iran, without providing any evidence.