US Cutting Forces, Missile Batteries In Middle East
The Pentagon said Friday it was cutting the number of troops and air defense units deployed to the Middle East, confirming a Wall Street Journal report that eight Patriot batteries were being moved out from the region.
The move comes as President Joe Biden's administration seeks to ease tensions with Iran after they heated up in 2019 and saw a strong escalation in the US military presence across the region.
The Wall Street Journal said the Patriot anti-missile batteries were being removed from Iraq, Kuwait, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, and that a separate anti-missile system, called THAAD, was being transferred from Saudi Arabia as well.
Each battery requires hundreds of troops and civilians to operate and support them.
Pentagon spokesperson Commander Jessica McNulty said that some of the units were being redeployed to other countries and some were returning to the United States for maintenance.
She would not say where the redeployed units were being moved to.