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Pentagon sending ‘defensive’ troops and missiles to Saudi Arabia after Iranian oil attack



The Pentagon is sending additional troops and missiles to Saudi Arabia in response to Iran’s attack on Saudi oil facilities last weekend.

“The president has approved the deployment of U.S. forces, which are primarily defensive in nature and primarily focused on air and missile defense,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper said in a surprise briefing Friday night. “We will also work to accelerate the delivery of military equipment to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the UAE to enhance their ability to defend themselves.”

“We are contributing to Saudi Arabia’s defense. We would be looking, as the secretary said, for other international partners to also contribute to Saudi Arabia’s defense,” Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford added.

Neither official would say how many troops the United States is providing, but the number will likely be in the hundreds. Nothing is happening immediately, and Dunford said he will present more specifics next week.

“Despite repeated calls from President Trump to begin diplomatic talks, Iranian aggression continues to increase,” Esper said. “In the face of this sustained malign behavior, the United States and other countries have demonstrated great restraint in hopes that Iranian leadership would choose peace and reverse Iran’s steep decline into isolation and economic collapse.”

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