US to ship troops to Saudi Arabia

US to ship troops to Saudi Arabia

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Media captionAbqaiq became struck within the early hours of Saturday morning

The US has announced plans to ship forces to Saudi Arabia within the wake of assaults in opposition to the country’s oil infrastructure.

Secretary of Defense Ticket Esper told reporters the deployment would be “defensive in nature”. Entire troop numbers have not yet been determined.

Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels have claimed responsibility for the assaults in opposition to two oil facilities closing week.

However the US and Saudi Arabia have both blamed Iran itself.

Earlier on Friday then yet again, President Trump announced “best likely stage” sanctions in opposition to Iran while signalling he wished to handbook clear of navy battle.

“I obtain the solid particular person approach, and the article that does existing energy, would be exhibiting reasonably bit of restraint,” he told reporters within the Oval Declare of enterprise.

The new sanctions will focal point on Iran’s central bank and its sovereign wealth fund, Mr Trump mentioned.

What did the Pentagon deliver?

Mr Esper made the announcement alongside the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Personnel, Gen Joseph Dunford Jr on Friday.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates requested aid, Mr Esper mentioned. The forces will focal point on boosting air and missile defences, and the US will “velocity up the delivery of navy tools” to both international locations.

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Secretary of Defense Ticket Esper, left, and Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Personnel Frequent Joseph Dunford made the announcement on Friday

Gen Dunford known as the deployment “moderate” and mentioned it wouldn’t number within the hundreds. He gave no extra particulars regarding the make of forces to be sent.

In retaining with the Contemporary York Instances, when reporters asked Mr Esper if navy strikes on Iran were tranquil being regarded as, the defence secretary replied: “That is now not the attach we are stunning now.”

What came about in Saudi Arabia?

Strikes hit the Abqaiq oil facility and the Khurais oil field in Saudi Arabia per week within the past, affecting the global oil provide.

On Wednesday, the kingdom’s defence ministry confirmed off what it says are the stays of drones and cruises missiles proving Iranian involvement. The country is then yet again tranquil “working to perceive precisely the launch point”, a spokesman mentioned.

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Media captionSaudi Arabia says the course of the strikes confirmed the missiles could per chance well now not have near from Yemen

The US also alleges Iran is responsible. Senior officers have told US media retailers they had evidence the assaults originated within the south of Iran.

Iran has many instances denied any role within the strikes, with President Hassan Rouhani calling the assaults a reciprocal act by the “Yemeni of us”.

“US is in denial if it thinks that Yemeni victims of Four.5 yrs of the worst war crimes wouldn’t attain all to strike aid,” Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted.

On Wednesday, Secretary of Declare Mike Pompeo had known as the strikes “an act of war”.

Mr Zarif warned on Twitter that Iran had no desire for war but “we is now not going to hesitate to defend ourselves”.

What’s the background to all this?

The Houthis have many instances launched rockets, missiles and drones at populated areas in Saudi Arabia. They are in battle with a Saudi-led coalition which backs a president who the rebels had compelled to wing when the Yemeni battle escalated in March 2015.

Iran is the regional rival of Saudi Arabia and an opponent of the US, which pulled out of a treaty geared in direction of limiting Tehran’s nuclear programme after Mr Trump took energy.

US-Iran tensions have risen markedly this year.

The US mentioned Iran became within the aid of assaults on two oil tankers within the Gulf in June and July, besides on one other Four in Could possibly simply. Tehran rejected the accusations in both cases.