WASHINGTON - The U.S. is sending additional military forces and air defense equipment to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the Pentagon said Friday night. The announcement came after last weekend’s attacks on Saudi Arabian oil installations that U.S. officials said were carried out by Iran, an allegation that Tehran denies.
President Donald Trump “has approved the deployment of U.S. forces, which will be defensive in nature,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper said during a briefing at the Pentagon.
Esper said the U.S. was responding to requests from Saudi and United Arab Emirates to improve their air and missile defenses. Details regarding the U.S. deployments were to be discussed over the weekend and released next week, Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Friday.
“Secretary (Mike) Pompeo just came back this morning, and the Saudis asked for enhanced capabilities,” Dunford said. “We haven’t decided on specific units,” but those chosen would help enhance the countries’ air missile defenses.
Also late Friday, the United Nations announced that it has sent a four-member team of international experts to Saudi Arabia to investigate the attacks on the oil installations.
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