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US To Deploy 200 Troops, Patriot Missile System To Saudi Arabia; Oil Jumps

US To Deploy 200 Troops, Patriot Missile System To Saudi Arabia; Oil Jumps

The Department of Defense has finally revealed some of the details of Trump’s grand deployment or appearance of doing something without doing much and response to the Sept. 14 Saudi Aramco attacks which the administration blamed on Iran.  The Pentagon is set to send 200 personnel and missile defense equipment to Saudi Arabia, specifically a total of one Patriot missile and its support personnel, which further includes Sentinel radars meant to detect any incoming attack, according to a Thursday announcement.

The news was a sufficient catalyst to spike the price of brent crude, which rapidly moved into the green upon news of the Pentagon announcement, after trading in the red all day. 

“This deployment will augment the kingdom’s air and missile defense of critical military and civilian infrastructure,” Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said. 

He added that this will bolster “an already significant presence of U.S. forces in the region.”

More significant is a potential further deployment on the table of additional troops and two more Patriot batteries and a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system (THAAD), which would certainly signal escalation against Iran in the region should the plan be approved. 

The US beefing up Saudi air defenses comes also as Riyadh’s current US-supplied systems have come under scrutiny for clearly failing to detect and defend against the Sept. 14 aerial attack.

As The National Interest pointed out:

One thing is clear: The attack revealed the limits of Saudi Arabia’s seemingly sophisticated air-defense system. Riyadh in recent years has spent billions of dollars building up six battalions of U.S.-made Patriot surface-to-air missiles and associated radars. The Patriots didn’t stop the recent attack.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper formally blamed Iran for the attack in statements last week, saying “all indications are that Iran was responsible for the attack” on the two Aramco refineries. 

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