US President Donald Trump has approved sending troops to Saudi Arabia to aid the country’s air defenses. The move comes after a strike that damaged key Saudi oil facilities.
The United States will deploy additional troops to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Friday.
The exact numbers of military personnel and equipment are yet to be decided, but would be part of a “moderate deployment” to the region, said Marine General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
“In response to the kingdom’s request, the president has approved the deployment of US forces, which will be defensive in nature and primarily focused on air and missile defense,” Esper told reporters.
The announcement comes after the September 14 attack on key Saudi oil infrastructure, which knocked out half the country’s supply. Yemen’s Houthi rebels have claimed responsibility, but the US and Saudi Arabia suspect Iran is behind the strike. Iran, which backs the Houthis, has denied blame.