The United States is significantly reducing the number of anti-missile systems in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East, as the military focuses on possible future challenges with Russia and China.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has ordered the commander of the US Central Command, which oversees the region, to withdraw this summer for further reorganization, CNN reports.
“Some parts of the system and equipment will be returned to the United States for maintenance and repair, while others will be redistributed to other regions,” said Pentagon spokeswoman Jessica McNolti.
She noted that the decision was made in close coordination with the host countries and with clear intentions to further preserve all possibilities related to US security obligations in the region.
The Pentagon did not specify in which direction the troops would be diverted, and CNN reported that the Wall Street Journal, according to US administration sources, said the move reflected a major shift in the Department of Defense to direct its efforts. to face China and Russia as future threats, moving away from Middle East conflicts.
According to the report, eight Patriot missile batteries are planned to be withdrawn from Iraq, Kuwait, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, and the THAAD system is being withdrawn from this country and the number of fighter jets in the region is decreasing.
The relocation of forces from Saudi Arabia and neighboring countries comes as part of a wider US withdrawal from the region, as they are due to complete their departure from Afghanistan before 9/11, on the orders of US President Joe Biden.