15 Sep. 2021 06:30
The USA is disappearing more and more from the scene in the Middle East under Joe Biden. After the chaotic withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, Americans are now withdrawing their air defense from Saudi Arabia. The US does not seem to feel as committed to the Gulf States as it used to be.
After the chaotic withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, it is becoming more and more apparent that the US is apparently not a “reliable ally” in the region. The US has been withdrawing its most advanced anti-missile defense system and Patriot batteries from Saudi Arabia in the past few weeks, although the kingdom has recently been exposed to ongoing air strikes by Ansarollah (better known as “Houthis”) from Yemen.
From the news agency AP Analyzed satellite images showed that by the end of August not all of the Patriot and THAAD systems stationed at the Prince Sultan Air Force Base were in place. Last Friday the missile battery stores were completely empty and, unlike in August, there were no more activities.
The air defenses withdrawal came after U.S. Middle East allies nervously watched the chaotic withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan, including their last-minute evacuations from the beleaguered Kabul International Airport. Tensions in the region remain high, among other things, because the negotiations in Vienna on the revival of the nuclear deal between Iran and the superpowers seem to be stalling.
Since the Ansarollah rocket and drone attack on the heart of the kingdom’s oil production in 2019, the Prince Sultan Air Force Base, located 115 kilometers southeast of the capital, Riyadh, has housed several thousand US soldiers.
Reports have been circulating for months that the impending great power conflict with China and Russia is decisive for the relocation of the US anti-missile missiles, reports AP. US security officials have indicated several times recently that the US wants to focus on the geopolitical rise of China and Russia.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby confirmed “the relocation of certain air defenses”. He also stressed that the US had maintained a “broad and deep” commitment to its allies in the Middle East.
The Saudi Defense Department issued a statement describing the kingdom’s relations with the US as “strong, long-standing and historic” despite confirming the withdrawal of US missile defense systems. The statement said the Saudi military was “able to defend its country, its seas and airspace, and to protect its people”.
The kingdom’s former intelligence chief, Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal, said CNBC in this regard, howeverThe relocation of the Patriot missiles out of the kingdom is “no indication of the US stated intention to help Saudi Arabia defend itself against external enemies.”
The kingdom also has its own Patriot missile batteries and is reported to fire two missiles at a fired target. However, during the Ansarollah military offensive, it became an expensive proposition as each Patriot missile costs more than $ 3 million.
“I think we saw Biden’s statements on Afghanistan saying things that he will clearly put US interests first and this has obviously been quite a disappointment for partners and allies around the world who Perhaps they had hoped for something different after Trump, “said researcher Kristian Ulrichsen of the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University.
Frederick Kempe, President of the Atlantic Council, previously wrote in a comment for CNBCthat the situation in Afghanistan endangers the narrative of US President Joe Biden, that Washington is “again a reliable ally and partner after the Trump era”.
more on the subject – Yemen: Houthi rebels conquer another strategically important region