Deployment of 3,000 US troops to Saudi Arabia almost complete

US aircraft carrier strike group Abraham Lincoln passing through the Strait of Hormuz Tuesday. (US Navy)
Updated 20 November 2019

Deployment of 3,000 US troops to Saudi Arabia almost complete

  • Donald Trump tells House that full deployment will arrive in the Kingdom in coming weeks
  • US aircraft carrier strike group Abraham Lincoln sails through the Strait of Hormuz

WASHINGTON: The number of US troops in Saudi Arabia will reach 3,000 in the coming weeks as Washington boosts its forces in the Kingdom to help defend against Iran.

In a letter to the House of Represntatives on Tuesday, Donald Trump said the forces had been deployed “to assure our partners, deter further Iranian provocative behavior, and bolster regional defensive capabilities.”

The Pentagon said last month it has approved the deployment of the troops and military hardware to Saudi Arabia in response to the September drone and missile attack on the Kingdom’s oil facilities.

Trump said the forces included radar and missile systems to “improve defenses against air and missile threats”, an expeditionary wing to support fighter aircraft from Saudi Arabia, and two fighter squadrons.  

He said some of the forces had already arrived in the Kingdom and that the rest will be in place in the coming weeks.

 

 

“Iran has continued to threaten the security of the region, including by attacking oil and natural gas facilities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Sept. 14, 2019,” Trump said in the letter.

The attack on the world’s largest oil processing plant at Abqaiq and the Khurais oil field, causing large fires and halving the country’s oil output.

The attack, blamed on Iran, was the peak of months of tensions in which Tehran was also blamed for attacks on shipping, leading to the US bolstering its military presence in the region.

On Tuesday, the US aircraft carrier strike group Abraham Lincoln sailed through the Strait of Hormuz, where the attacks on shipping have taken place.


Fifth Jeddah International Book Fair opened by Makkah governor

Updated 12 December 2019

Fifth Jeddah International Book Fair opened by Makkah governor

JEDDAH: Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, the governor of Makkah, officially opened the fifth edition of the Jeddah International Book Fair on Wednesday.

The prince toured the event, at which 400 publishing houses from 40 countries are taking part, and honored three renowned figures from the local literature and media scenes: Dr. Hashem Abdo Hashem, the former editor in chief of Okaz newspaper; writer Abdel Fattah Abu Madian; and writer Meshaal bin Muhammad Al-Sudairy.

Prince Mishaal bin Majed, the governor of Jeddah and chairman of the exhibition’s Higher Committee, thanked Price Khalid for his support of the fair since it was founded. He also expressed his gratitude to King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for their great support.

He added that the success of the event is the result of the hard work of a number of organizations. In particular, he wished the Ministry of Culture continued success in organizing the fair as part of its efforts to develop culture in the Kingdom as one of the pillars of Saudi Vision 2030.

Other VIP guests and dignitaries at the inauguration of the fair included Prince Badr bin Sultan, the deputy governor of Makkah; Prince Saud bin Abdullah, adviser to the governor of Makkah; and Prince Khalid bin Mishaal, deputy governor of Jeddah.

The book fair continues at Land of Events in South Abhur until Dec. 21.