Washington has announced the withdrawal of “some forces”, mainly anti-aircraft defense equipment, from the region.
The Pentagon on Friday confirmed that the United States is reducing its anti-aircraft security in the Middle East after accelerating it in 2019 and 2020 due to tensions with Iran. The Wall Street Journal.
Defense Minister Lloyd Austin, “Ordered to withdraw some power and capabilities from the region this summer (…), mainly anti-aircraft defense equipmentPentagon spokeswoman Commander Jessica McNaldy said in a statement. “Some of this equipment will be shipped back to the United States for much needed maintenance and repair. Others will be re-employed to other areasHe added. A spokesman did not specify whether the equipment would be reused in the Indo-Pacific region, where the Pentagon wants to focus its efforts in the face of China’s uprising. “We will not provide detailsHe noted.
According to The Wall Street JournalThe Pentagon launched eight anti-missile batteries from Iraq, Kuwait, Jordan and Saudi Arabia in early June, as well as a TAD anti-missile shield used in Saudi Arabia. Each anti-missile battery should have several hundred soldiers, and their withdrawal would mean the departure of thousands of American soldiers from the region.
Returning forces if necessary
«We maintain a strong military presence in the region, and considering the threat, we hope that these changes will not affect our national security interests.», Underlined the spokesperson. “We also maintain the flexibility to send energy back to the Middle East quickly if needed.He added. The United States is currently withdrawing all its troops from Afghanistan and reduced its military strength in Iraq to 2,500 last year.
Several patriotic batteries were sent to the region as reinforcements after the January 2020 assassination of Iranian General Cossem Solomon in a US strike. THAAD was used in Saudi Arabia a few months ago after airstrikes against two of the Kingdom’s strategic oil bases in Tehran. Iran is still considered a major threat to the Middle East, but President Joe Biden wants to re-establish the Vienna agreement on Iran’s nuclear program.