The United States has withdrawn its most advanced defense systems and all Patriot missile batteries from Saudi Arabia over the past weeks, according to an analysis of satellite images conducted by the American Associated Press.
According to the agency, the withdrawal of this equipment from Prince Sultan Air Base comes at a time when Washington’s allies in the Gulf are watching with “concern” the chaotic withdrawal of the United States from Afghanistan, and while the attacks of Sana’a forces on the kingdom continue.
The agency adds that, earlier, pictures showed that some batteries were removed from the site in late August, with some vehicles still present and moving.
However, a picture taken yesterday showed that the site was completely empty, and no activities were detected on it.
In this context, the agency quoted researcher Christian Ulrichsen as saying, “It is clear that the United States does not show commitment to the Gulf as in the past, according to a large number of decision makers in the region,” pointing out that the recent successive American presidents, namely Obama and Trump Biden “makes decisions that to some extent show a kind of abandonment of Saudi Arabia.”
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For months, the United States has been continuing its military repositioning, desirous of confronting what American officials consider an urgent challenge from China and Russia, according to the agency.
It is noteworthy that Prince Sultan Air Base hosted thousands of US forces, following the 2019 missile and drone attack on Saudi Aramco.
And last June, the American Wall Street Journal revealed that the administration of President Joe Biden decided to reduce a large number of American anti-missile systems (Patriot) in the Middle East, and reported that Washington decided to withdraw 8 Patriot batteries from Iraq and Kuwait. Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
Last Wednesday, the Pentagon said that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin – who was on a Gulf tour – postponed indefinitely a visit he was scheduled to make to Saudi Arabia, in a decision he attributed to a “scheduling problem.”
“The minister’s visit to the kingdom has been postponed due to scheduling issues,” a Pentagon official told AFP. He added that Austin looks forward to rescheduling the visit as soon as possible.
At the beginning of the week, the US Defense Secretary began a Gulf tour a week after his country’s withdrawal from Afghanistan. He visited Qatar, then Kuwait, and then Bahrain.
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