Washington-President Biden instructed the Pentagon to begin withdrawing some military capabilities and troops from the Gulf region to realign the global military footprint of the United States outside the Middle East. Saudi Arabia endured the changes that occurred after rocket and drone attacks from within Yemen and Iraq.
In operations that have never been reported before, the United States withdrew at least three Patriot anti-missile shells from the Gulf region, including one from the Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia, which was deployed in recent years to help protect the US military.
US officials say that some capabilities, including aircraft carriers and surveillance systems, are being transferred from the Middle East to meet military needs in other parts of the world. Officials said that other reduction measures are under consideration.
The demolition of the Patriots’ turrets, the permanent stationing of aircraft carriers and other military capabilities means that over time, thousands of soldiers may leave the area. As of the end of last year, there were approximately 50,000 soldiers in the region, far below the high of 90,000 when the tension between the Trump administration and Iran was at its peak two years ago.
Defense officials declined to disclose details of military capabilities or troop reductions. Saudi officials did not respond to requests for comment on the U.S. plan.