The rulers of the House of Saud are now facing troubling moments about relying on the United States to protect their throne, from external enemies and internal threats, in light of America’s sudden withdrawal from the region.
Shock to the House of Saud
In this context, the website Fair Observer The Saudi leadership suffers from regressive tremors after America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan.
The site also referred to a case of “Saudi shock about the credibility of American security guarantees, which in themselves have been in great doubt since the September 2019 attacks on Saudi oil infrastructure.”
For its part, the British newspaper, The Times, said that the US administration sent a harsh warning message to the Saudi regime by withdrawing the Patriot anti-missile systems.
The newspaper reported that the Saudi regime is very concerned about the US military commitment in the Middle East.
Read also: Why did America withdraw Patriot missile batteries from Saudi Arabia?
While the Wiki Strat website stated that Saudi Arabia’s fears are multiplied in Yemen, as it feels the loss of the United States as a guarantor partner for security, and the nature of the withdrawal raised several questions; Will the Saudis suddenly be left to manage the chaos in Yemen without American support?
Withdrawal of US defenses from Saudi Arabia
The United States has removed its most advanced missile defense system and Patriot batteries from Saudi Arabia in recent weeks, even as the kingdom has faced constant air attacks from Ansar Allah (Houthis) in Yemen, according to satellite images analyzed by the agency.Associated Press”.
The redeployment of defenses from Prince Sultan Air Base outside Riyadh came as America’s Gulf Arab allies watched with concern the chaotic withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan, including last-minute evacuations from the besieged Kabul International Airport.
While tens of thousands of American troops across the Arabian Peninsula still appear as a counterweight against Iran, the Gulf Arab states are concerned about future plans for the United States, which sees a growing threat in Asia that requires missile defenses.
Tensions remain high, as negotiations appear to be stalled in Vienna over Iran’s collapsed nuclear deal with world powers, raising the risk of future confrontations in the region.
“The perception is very clear that the United States is not as committed to the Gulf as it once was, in the views of many Prime Time Zone in decision-making power in the region,” said Christian Ulrichen, a research fellow at the James Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University.
“From the Saudi point of view, they now see (Barack) Obama, (Donald) Trump and (Joe) Biden – three successive (US) presidents – making decisions that are somewhat relinquishing,” he added.
Prince Sultan Air Base, located about 115 kilometers southeast of Riyadh, has hosted several thousand US troops since a 2019 missile and drone attack on the kingdom’s oil production heartland.
Although the Houthis in Yemen claimed responsibility for this attack, it appears that Iran carried it out, according to experts and the material debris it left behind.
Relationships go from bad to worse
What is certain is that relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its historical ally the United States of America are going from bad to worse, and in the past two weeks it has entered an unprecedented phase of tension, which may develop into retaliatory political and economic confrontations in the next few days and months.
Read also: Farewell to the “Patriot and S-400” .. Saudi Arabia fascinates the world and reveals the “wonderful paint” to confront the Houthi missiles!
There are several documented field developments that monitor this deterioration, which can be initially limited to the following points:
First: Agency Announcement Associated PressThe highly credible American government and close to the decision-making circle in the White House, announced that the administration of US President Joe Biden withdrew all its missile defense systems from the “Patriot” and the most advanced “THAAD” system, which were installed to protect Saudi strategic goals in 2019.
This is after the huge and painful attack launched by the Houthi movement, “Ansar Allah”, with missiles and drones, on Aramco’s facilities, the nerve center of the oil industry in the Abqaiq region.
The agency reinforced its report by publishing satellite images of the locations of these systems at Prince Sultan Air Base, southeast of Riyadh, completely empty of them, which means that it was the Pentagon that leaked these images.
The visit of the US Secretary of Defense has been cancelled
The second: The cancellation of the visit of US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, which was scheduled for the end of last week, as part of his Gulf tour that began in Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain, for “protocol” reasons.
The third: The insistence of the Saudi leadership on emphasizing the lies of the American justifications for this cancellation, by instructing the young Prince Sattam bin Khalid Al Saud to publish a tweet on his account on “Twitter” saying, “This postponement was a Saudi decision.
He added that “Great Saudi Arabia” does not accept dictates from anyone and deals in accordance with common interests and mutual respect, and this is perhaps the first time that this description is used by a member of the ruling family.
Fourth: Prince Sattam, who is close to Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince and the de facto ruler, insisted on saying in the same tweet, “At the time the Great Kingdom canceled Minister Austin’s visit, it received Leonid Slutsky, head of international affairs in the Russian State Duma,” in a clear threat to Washington. That the Russian alternative is ready, and this is a “courageous” but dangerous challenge that could be very costly.
Fifth: Prince Turki Al-Faisal, the former head of the Saudi intelligence service, appeared on CNBC’s screen “wishing” the United States to maintain its commitments towards the kingdom by maintaining its missile systems, because the withdrawal of these missiles reflects a “bad intention.”
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