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article imageUS has some 2,500 troops in Saudi Arabia to counter Iran

By Ken Hanly     Feb 28, 2020 in Politics
There are some 2,500 US troops back in Saudi Arabia and they are getting prepared for a long stay. As tensions with Iran increase, US troops are again deployed to Saudi Arabia, though this will give anti-US jihadist groups a good recruiting tool.
More US troops would not be welcome in Iraq
The US troops are said to be in the country to deter a possible attack from Iran. The deployments began when Houthi rebels who control the north of Yemen may have fired missiles targeting Saudi oil producing regions and facilities. However, the Saudis have blamed Iran even though it denies responsibility.
The US and Iraq are at loggerheads over US troops stationed there. The Iraqi parliament passed a motion requiring all foreign troops to leave the country. More troops would not be welcome in Iraq. To confront Iran, the US has resorted to sending more troops to Saudi Arabia instead. The presence of US troops in Saudi Arabia is likely to increase tensions in the area, but this does not seem to bother the US as it appears determined to continue confronting Iran and influence events in the area. The new deployment is taking place nearly 17 years after the US had mostly left Saudi Arabia.
Mike Pompeo's recent visit to Saudi Arabia
A few days ago Mike Pompeo US Secretary of State met with the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The two discussed bilateral relations and the latest regional developments. The Saudi state news agency SPA reported: “During the meeting, they reviewed aspects of bilateral relations, the various areas of cooperation between the two friendly countries and opportunities for enhancing them, in addition to discussing developments of regional and international situations, and issues of common concern." The meeting was also attended by the Saudi Vice Minister of Defense Prince Khalid bin Salman and John Abizaid the US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia.
Earlier in the day Pompeo met with the Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz as part of his three-day visit to the kingdom. After his meeting with the Saudi king, Pompeo headed for a visit to a US air base where US troops are stationed.
More about Saudi US relations, US troops in Saudi Arabia, Iran
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