Kuwait military says US withdrawal of Patriot missiles ‘routine’

Kuwait said the US military’s decision to withdraw Patriot missile systems from the country was a “routine procedure.” (Reuters)
Updated 27 September 2018
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Kuwait military says US withdrawal of Patriot missiles ‘routine’

LONDON: Kuwait said the US military’s decision to withdraw Patriot missile systems from the country was a “routine procedure.”
The Pentagon is removing four Patriot missile systems from Jordan, Kuwait and Bahrain.
A US defense official told Reuters on Wednesday that Washington was making the decision as part of a shift in focus away from the fight against extremist militants in order to address tensions with China and Russia.
Kuwait army’s General Chief of staff Lt. Gen. Mohammad Al-Khuder said the decision was an interior routine procedure and in coordination with the Kuwaiti army.
“Kuwait’s Patriot missile system, independently, protects and covers all its geographical borders,” he said in a statement.
Patriots are designed to intercept ballistic and cruise missiles and other airborne threats.
The redeployment of the missiles comes at a time of increased tension between the US and Iran, which President Donald Trump and his national security adviser John Bolton this week assailed at the United Nations.
When approached by Pentagon reporters, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis declined to comment on the matter, AFP reported.
Pentagon spokeswoman Commander Rebecca Rebarich said that due to operational security “we’re not going to discuss the movement of specific capabilities into and out of the US Central Command area of responsibility.”


British-Iranian aid worker moved back to jail from hospital ward — husband

In this undated photo provided by the Free Nazanin Campaign, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe hugs her daughter Gabriella, in Iran. (AP)
Updated 21 min 20 sec ago
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British-Iranian aid worker moved back to jail from hospital ward — husband

  • British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt told parliament the fact she had been moved back to prison was “a positive sign”

LONDON: British-Iranian aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been transferred back to an Iranian prison from a hospital psychiatric ward, her husband said on Monday.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, was moved to the psychiatric ward of Imam Khomeini hospital in the capital on July 15, the “Free Nazanin” campaign group run by her husband said last week.
“Nazanin has been returned from psychiatric hospital, and is now back in Evin prison,” her husband, Richard, said in a statement. She was discharged at her request and the request of the hospital doctor, the campaign group said.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe was told she had been admitted to hospital for a 10-day period of assessment. She received psychotherapy sessions, had physical checks and was prescribed some medicines, the campaign group seeking her release said.
In its release, the group quoted Zaghari-Ratcliffe saying that she was kept in a private room measuring 2 meters by 3 meters (6.5 feet by 9.8 feet) and was handcuffed and chained to the bed day and night.
The Iranian embassy in London declined immediate comment on the case.
“They did all they could to me – handcuffs, ankle cuffs, in a private room 2x3m, with thick curtains, and the door closed all the time,” she was quoted as saying. “I wasn’t allowed to leave the room, as I was chained to the bed.”
British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt told parliament the fact she had been moved back to prison was “a positive sign.”
“The way that she was detained for a week without being able to have any access to her family was totally unacceptable and I am afraid all too predictable from the Iranian regime,” he said.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested in April 2016 at a Tehran airport as she headed back to Britain with her daughter after a family visit, and was sentenced to five years in jail after being convicted of plotting to overthrow Iran’s clerical establishment.
Her family and the Foundation, a charity organization that operates independently of Thomson Reuters and Reuters News, deny the charge.