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US Deploys Radars, Patriot Missiles to Bolster Saudi Defenses

US Deploys Radars, Patriot Missiles to Bolster Saudi Defenses

Friday, 27 September, 2019 - 05:00
The Pentagon in Washington, US, is seen from aboard Air Force One, March 29, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

The Pentagon said on Thursday it plans to send four radar systems, a battery of Patriot missiles and about 200 support personnel to bolster Saudi Arabia's defenses after the Sept. 14 attacks on Aramco’s Abqaiq plant and Khurais oil field.

"This deployment will augment the Kingdom's air and missile defense of critical military and civilian infrastructure," Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said.

"It is important to note these steps are a demonstration of our commitment to regional partners, and the security and stability in the Middle East," he added.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said last week that additional security measures will be the first step, but he did not rule out additional moves down the road.

On Thursday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pointed to Iran being behind the attacks on the two Saudi oil installations.

But Iran has denied responsibility, and President Hassan Rouhani on Thursday challenged the US and others to provide evidence to back up their accusations.

"Those who make the allegations must provide the needed proof," he said.

Rouhani, speaking at a news conference in New York a day after addressing the UN General Assembly, said he would "of course" hold talks with the United States if President Donald Trump lifted sanctions and ended his policy of maximum pressure on Tehran.

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