Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Gulf Countries Accept Redeployment of US Forces to Deter Iran

Gulf Countries Accept Redeployment of US Forces to Deter Iran

Saturday, 18 May, 2019 - 05:45
US aircraft carrier the USS Abraham Lincoln is pictured while it travels through the Suez Canal in Egypt May 9, 2019 in this picture obtained from social media. Bud Kinsey/via REUTERS

Saudi Arabia and a number of GCC states have approved Washington’s request to redeploy US forces in the waters and territories of the Arabian Gulf to thwart possible Iranian attacks in the region and not trigger a war with Tehran, informed Gulf sources said.

“Saudi Arabia and the rest of GCC states do not wish to start a war with Iran, but they want to send a strong message to Tehran that it cannot cross the red line by continuing to provoke forces operating in the Arabian Gulf,” the sources told Asharq Al-Awsat on Friday.

They added that Riyadh and the other GCC capitals do not wish to engage in a military confrontation with Tehran because no party would benefit from such actions.

The sources said the redeployment of US forces in the Gulf states was part of joint US-Gulf efforts to deter Iran and aimed to have better cooperation between American and Gulf military forces. Such measures would protect the energy supply and prevent Iran from disrupting maritime traffic in that region.

The sources said the approval of Gulf states on the redeployment was based on bilateral agreements.

Washington has sent its aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln to the Arabian Gulf. Such development comes as four commercial vessels, including two Saudi oil tankers, have been sabotaged near the UAE emirates of Fujairah.

Meanwhile, a Saudi source said Riyadh is following-up on developments in the region in light of Iran’s aggressive behaviors.

The source said the Kingdom does not wish to engage in a war with Tehran, yet Riyadh is capable of protecting its territories from any aggression.

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