The United States is deploying to Saudi Arabia a battery of Patriot missiles, four sentinel radar systems and about 200 support personnel, Pentagon Chief Spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman said in a press release on Thursday.
“In light of recent attacks on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and at their invitation, Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper announced today that the US would deploy the following equipment to the kingdom: One Patriot Battery, Four Sentinel RADARs, approximately 200 support personnel,” Hoffman said in the release.
In the early hours of 14 September, a drone attack targeted Saudi Aramco’s Abqaiq and Khurais oil processing facilities, forcing the national oil company to shut them down. This resulted in a more than a twofold drop in Saudi Arabia’s daily net oil output. Although responsibility for the attack was claimed by the military wing of Yemen’s Ansar Allah movement, also known as the Houthis, the United States and Saudi Arabia have put the blame on Iran.
On 18 September, the Saudi Defence Ministry held a press conference to present what it described as evidence of Iran’s involvement in the attacks. Tehran has refuted the accusations.
According to most recent reports, full restoration of Saudi Aramco’s operations after oil attacks may take months.