The United States is sending troops and other military equipment to Saudi Arabia as tensions flare with Iran, the Pentagon announced late Friday.
In a statement, U.S. Central Command said, “This movement of forces provides an additional deterrent, and ensures our ability to defend our forces and interests in the region from emergent, credible threats.”
The U.S. will send 500 troops, Patriot air defense missile batteries, and F-22 stealth fighters to the Prince Sultan Air Base near the capital of Riyadh, according to the BBC.
In a statement released by Saudi Arabia’s state press agency, King Salman “approved hosting U.S. Armed Forces in the Kingdom to increase joint cooperation in defense of regional security and stability and to preserve its peace.”
The Pentagon’s announcement comes as Washington’s relationship with Iran worsens following the unilateral withdrawal of the U.S. from the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran.
President Trump asserted on Thursday that a U.S. warship shot down an Iranian drone near the Persian Gulf, but Tehran denies that claim.