Saudi Arabia Approves Hosting US Forces

US to deploy troops to Saudi Arabia in face of 'credible' regional threats

King Salman bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia, has approved hosting of the U.S. armed forces in the kingdom, Saudi Press Agency reported on Saturday.

Saudi Arabia's King Salman has approved the hosting of US troops for the first time since the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was toppled in 2003, as the two allies bolster cooperation amid rising tensions with Iran.

"Based on mutual cooperation between Saudi Arabia and the United States of America, and their desire to enhance everything that could preserve the security of the region and its stability".

The tension in the Gulf region is escalating along with U.S. -Iran conflicts about the Iranian nuclear activities.

Early this week, United States defence official told CNN that Trump administration was prepared to send its military personnel to Saudi Arabia.

CNN reported on Thursday that around 500 troops were expected to be dispatched to the Prince Sultan Air Base, located in a desert area east of the Saudi capital Riyadh.

The troops would be entering a region already heavily saturated with over 70,000 USA military personnel.

The United States Department of Defense confirmed the reports in the Saudi media in a statement saying troops would be deployed to "provide an additional deterrent" in the region that is facing "emergent, credible threats".

Tensions in the Gulf increased further on Friday after Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said its forces captured a British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz for allegedly violating global laws.

A USA official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the deployment would include about 500 us military personnel in Saudi Arabia, and is part of a boost in the number of us troops in the Middle East that the Pentagon announced last month. The Pentagon did not say where the troops would be deployed at the time.

Iran on July 19 seized a British-operated oil tanker in the strait and briefly detained another in an apparent retaliation for a seizure off Gibraltar - a British territory - of an Iranian tanker on July 4. Washington has blamed a series of mysterious yet minor attacks on oil tankers on Iran, despite a lack of evidence or motive, and cried foul after Iranian air defenses downed a surveillance drone in Iranian airspace last month.

US soldiers part of the NATO- led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) walks, as a US Chinook helicopter is seen on the back ground near the place where the foundation of a hospital was laid in Shindand, Herat, west of Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012.



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