US Pulling Patriot Missiles, Warplanes Out of Saudi Arabia Amid Dispute

US wants Saudi oil production cut to ensure stable prices

The Trump Administration has been annoyed at Saudi Arabia’s inability to stabilize oil prices at a level high enough to ensure US producers a profit, and in a move that appears to be retaliation based on those tensions, the US is starting to pull military assets out of Saudi Arabia.

Officials announced on Thursday that the US will be withdrawing two Patriot missile batteries, along with a number of warplanes from the Saudi desert, along with other air defenses. The assets were placed in the area in recent months to “counter Iran.”

The US buildup in Saudi Arabia began after a Yemeni missile hit oil-producing regions. Saudis blamed Iran, and the US sent forces there to “deter” them. US-Iran tensions over Iraq ultimately led to more deployments into the area.

Putting troops there appears to have given the US the leverage to pull troops out of there, and with Saudi efforts to try to get oil prices back up largely unsuccessful, the US appears to have decided that this will coax them into action.

As a security matter, this is unlikely to matter, as there was no indication that Iran or anyone else was really liable to attack the Saudis. This should also mean no real added security premium on the price of oil, though since the US goal is a price increase, any increase from the pullout would be welcomed.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.