Though news coverage of the September 14 drone and missile attack on a Saudi Arabian oil facility was quickly overshadowed by President Donald Trump’s Ukraine phone call controversy, the Pentagon on Friday announced another deployment of U.S. military assets to the kingdom to bolster their defensive capabilities.
As first reported by Reuters, the deployment is the latest in an attempt to make sure Saudi Arabia — an important U.S. ally in the Middle East — is fully capable of defending against future attacks. Both Washington, D.C., and Saudi Arabia have blamed the devastating oil facility attack on Iran.
The Pentagon provided some details of the latest deployment, saying it will include one air expeditionary wing, air defense personnel, and a fighter jet squadron. In addition, the U.S. will also deploy a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system and two patriot missile battery systems.
A spokesperson for the Pentagon revealed that the latest U.S. asset deployment means a significant number of U.S. forces has been sent to the area over the past month.
“Taken together with other deployments, this constitutes an additional 3,000 forces that have been extended or authorized within the last month,” Pentagon spokesman Johnathan Hoffman said.
Though the USS Abraham Lincoln and its strike group are currently deployed in the region, the group is scheduled to rotate out of the area in the near future, according to CNN. Due to electrical and other problems, the USS Harry S. Truman and its strike group that was scheduled to replace the USS Abraham Lincoln won’t make it to the region soon enough, which is what prompted U.S. commanders in the area to request additional reinforcements.
It was also reported that, presumably as an added safety measure, additional aircraft and various U.S. Navy warships are ready to move out of the Pacific region and into the Middle East if necessary.
The most recent deployment will also include roughly 1,500 troops to the area.
News of the large deployment of U.S. forces to the region comes in the wake of Trump’s decision to pull U.S. troops out of northern Syria, which left friendly Kurdish forces vulnerable to a planned attack by Turkish military forces.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, soon after U.S. forces were pulled from Syria, aerial bombardments by the Turkish military caused widespread damage, including civilian casualties. The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, who previously assisted the U.S. with fighting Islamic State terrorists in the area, issued a plea to the U.S. for help but have so far been denied assistance by orders from the White House.
Because of that, Kurdish forces reportedly feel betrayed by the United States, issuing a statement saying as much.
“Despite our efforts to avoid any military escalation with Turkey, the flexibility we have shown to move forward with the establishment of the border security mechanism, and the fulfillment of all our obligations in this regard, the US forces did not fulfill their obligations and withdrew their forces from the territories bordering with Turkey,” the SDF wrote in a statement.