The United States is preparing to send 500 troops to Saudi Arabia to front up to the growing Iran threat, it was reported last night.
First the United States got involved with growing Iranian aggression, then the UK, sent three warships to the Gulf, and now we see Saudi Arabia also preparing for what more and more is looking like unavoidable conflict with Iran. President Trump has shown great restraint thru far, calling off a strike at the last minute, but his patience with the terror state is wearing thin.
The seizure of a UAE oil tanker by Iran over the weekend has greatly exacerbated the long-festering tensions in the Middle East, which appears to rapidly be coming to a head.
US ‘to deploy 500 troops to expanding Saudi Arabian air base’ to front-up to Iran threat
FROM THE UK SUN: They will be deployed to a remote base east of the Saudi capital Riyadh, according to two US defence officials. The move will fortify the growing Prince Sultan Air Base – which is being heavily built-up with a Patriot missile defence battery and an improved runway, CNN reported.
It’s hoped that fifth-generation F-22 stealth jets and other fighters will be flown from the base to strike Iranian targets should war break out, the unnamed officials said. US military chiefs believe the site is well protected from Iranian attack because of its remote desert location. It comes amid feverish tensions between Iran and the West that has seen tense naval standoffs and attacks on oil supply routes.
Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard forces seized a foreign oil tanker accused of smuggling oil, Iran’s state TV reported Thursday. The vessel appears to be a United Arab Emirates-based tanker that had disappeared off trackers in Iranian territorial waters over the weekend. The seizure was the latest in a series of dramatic developments as tensions mount between the United States and Iran over the unravelling nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers. source
But critics fear closer ties between the Trump administration and the brutal Saudi regime – which is widely considered responsible for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Last night the US House of Representatives voted to block the sale of precision-guided munitions to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. President Donald Trump has previously promised a veto to overrule Congress and complete the deals – worth more than $8billion (£6.43bn).
The fresh deployment is part of the 1,000 additional troops being sent to the Middle East announced by the US last month. An official announcement is expected next week – although Congress has not yet been official told of the plan, the defence sources said.
Satellite imagery appears to show intensive construction work at the Prince Sultan Air Base in recent weeks. They show an initial deployment of US troops and support personnel to the air base in mid-June, experts claim.
Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Project, said they show preparations being made to the site ahead of the troops’ arrival. He said: “A small encampment and construction equipment appeared at the end of a runway by June 27, suggesting that improvements are already underway.
“The encampment to the east of the runway is typical of Air Force engineering squadrons deployed overseas.” The Pentagon has declined to comment on the deployment. READ MORE
U.S. fears Iran seized UAE-based tanker in Strait of Hormuz
The U.S. said Iran could be behind the disappearance of a UAE-based ship that was traveling through the Strait of Hormuz two days ago. Amy Myers Jaffe, senior fellow at the Council for Foreign Relations, joins CBSN with more.
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