WASHINGTON – President Biden has ordered the Pentagon to remove some military capabilities and forces from the Gulf region in an effort to align the US global military footprint away from the Middle East. These changes will come as Saudi Arabia endures missile and drone strikes from Yemen and Iraq.
In unreported steps, the US has removed at least three Patriot anti-missile batteries from the Gulf region, including one from Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia had been set up in recent years to protect the American armed forces.
Some capabilities, including an aircraft carrier and surveillance systems, are being diverted from the Middle East to meet military needs in other parts of the world, according to U.S. officials. Further cuts are currently being examined.
Removing Patriot BatteriesDue to the constant presence of aircraft carriers and other military capabilities, several thousand soldiers can leave the region over time. At the end of last year there were about 50,000 soldiers in the region, down from a high of about 90,000 at the height of Tensions between the Trump administration and Iran about two years ago.
Defense officials refused to provide details of the reduction in military capabilities or forces. Saudi officials did not respond to a request for comment on the US plans.