REPORT: U.S. Military deploys hundreds of troops to Saudi Arabia

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Appeared in the July 19, 2019, print edition as ‘Americans Deploy to Saudi Base Once Again.’

U.S. forces will again be stationed at the Prince Sultan Air Base, which had been closed to the American military since the fall of Baghdad following the U.S. invasion of Iraq, officials and experts said.

The article goes on to state the following:

The move comes amid a standoff between the Trump administration and Congress over arms sales to Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf countries, and U.S. support for the Saudi-led war effort in Yemen, and represents a new demonstration of Washington’s strategic interest in Riyadh.

The military already has begun to deploy more than 500 U.S. service members to Prince Sultan Air Base, about 150 kilometers southwest of Riyadh, officials said. Saudi officials didn’t respond to requests for comment. Officials from U.S. Central Command, which overseas the Middle East, declined to comment.

The deployment comes after Iran said it had seized a tanker in the region and the U.S. on Thursday said it downed a drone that came too close to an American warship.

U.S. Central Command released the following statement on Friday:

“In coordination with and at the invitation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Secretary of Defense has authorized the movement of U.S. personnel and resources to deploy to Saudi Arabia. This movement of forces provides an additional deterrent, and ensures our ability to defend our forces and interests in the region from emergent, credible threats. This movement creates improvement of operational depth and logistical networks. U.S. Central Command continually assesses force posture in the region and is working with Kingdom of Saudi Arabia authorities to base U.S. assets at the appropriate locations.”

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