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.”


Man detained in Lebanon on suspicion of entering from Israel

Updated 20 min 18 sec ago
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Man detained in Lebanon on suspicion of entering from Israel

  • State-run National News Agency said the man who was detained is a US citizen adding that he was detained in the southern port-city of Tyre
  • Suspicion about someone crossing the tightly guarded border known as the Blue Line began to surface on Tuesday

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s army intelligence have detained a man on suspicion that he crossed into Lebanon from Israel, a military official said Thursday. The country’s state news agency said the detainee is a US citizen.
Lebanon and Israel are in a state of war and each bans its citizens from visiting the other country. There are no border crossings at the tightly-controlled frontier.
The official, who spoke Thursday on condition of anonymity in line with regulations, gave no further details saying the man is being questioned and once they have information the army will release a statement.
State-run National News Agency said the man who was detained is a US citizen adding that he was detained in the southern port-city of Tyre where he had been staying since Tuesday. It added that the man is being questioned under the supervision of judicial authorities.
There was no immediate comment from the US embassy in Lebanon.
Suspicion about someone crossing the tightly guarded border known as the Blue Line began to surface on Tuesday.
The Israeli military said: “Israeli army troops identified a break in the fence and signs that point to the suspicion of a person crossing the border from Israel into Lebanon. The incident is under investigation.”