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
0

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.”


At least 30 migrants believed missing after boat sinking off Libya

Updated 2 min 38 sec ago
0

At least 30 migrants believed missing after boat sinking off Libya

TRIPOLI: At least 30 migrants are believed to be missing after their boat sank off the western Libyan city of Sabratha this week, a coastguard spokesman said on Thursday.
According to a survivor the boat was carrying almost 50 migrants, coastguard spokesman Ayoub Qassem said. The body of one child was recovered and 16 migrants were rescued, he added.
Previously, officials had said at least 10 migrants were thought to have died in the incident.
Libya's western coast is a main departure point for migrants trying to reach Europe, though numbers have dropped since an Italian-led effort to disrupt smuggling networks and support Libya's coast guard.