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Saudi King Approves Hosting US Troops to Strengthen Regional Security

RIYADH – Saudi King Salman has approved the deployment of US troops to the country to strengthen security in the region and ensure stability in the Gulf, the Saudi News Agency reported.
The US Department of Defense confirmed the new deployment in a statement.
The statement said, troops and resources would be sent to Saudi Arabia to “provide additional deterrence” in the light of “emerging and credible threats”.
This move comes as increasing tensions between Washington and Tehran in the Gulf have impacted the global oil markets.
The United States and Saudi Arabia have a close relationship based on trade and security. US President Donald Trump has made Riyadh his first stop for a visit from a foreign state, holding a summit on the fight against terrorism.
On Friday, Iran said it seized a British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, but denied Washington’s claim that the US Navy shot down an Iranian drone near this week.
The decision to host US forces aims “to strengthen cooperation in defending regional security and stability and preserve its peace,” SPA said, citing a Defense Ministry official, without giving more details.
A US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the deployment would include about 500 US troops in Saudi Arabia and he is helping to boost the number of US troops in the Middle East announced by the Pentagon last month.
In June, the Pentagon announced that it would deploy 1,000 soldiers in the Middle East, without specifying its fate.
Relations between Washington and Tehran deteriorated last year when President Donald Trump waived a 2015 nuclear agreement between the world powers and Iran.
Under the pact, Iran has agreed to restrict nuclear work, long considered by the West as a cover for the development of nuclear weapons, in exchange for the lifting of sanctions. But since then, the sanctions have been reimposed, seriously harming the Iranian economy.
Trump said he sees Saudi Arabia as an important partner in the Middle East and a counterbalance to Iran’s influence.
The return of American combat forces to Saudi Arabia, after more than a decade of absence, gives more depth to the regional alignment of US military power, mainly in areas of the Arabian Gulf more vulnerable to Iranian missile attacks.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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