US Central Command launched warplanes based in the Persian Gulf toward Iran after Saudi Arabia claimed Tehran was planning an imminent attack on the kingdom, The Washington Post reported on Saturday.
Saudi Arabia made the warning last week, but there’s no indication that Iran is planning to attack the country besides the Saudi claim. The Saudis also warned that Iran was planning attacks on Iraq’s northern Kurdistan region, where Tehran has launched strikes in recent weeks. But there haven’t been Iranian attacks in Iraq since the Saudi’s warning.
The deployment of the US warplanes toward Iran demonstrates the continued close military ties between Washington and Riyadh despite President Biden’s warnings of “consequences” over the OPEC+ decision to reduce oil production by 2 million barrels per day.
Democrats were furious at the Saudis over the OPEC+ cuts, which came ahead of the upcoming midterm elections. But so far, the US has not taken concrete action to change the relationship with the Saudis over the move.
While there’s no sign Iran is planning to attack Saudi Arabia, the Saudis often blame Tehran for Houthi attacks from the kingdom even though the operations are a response to the US-backed war the Saudis have been waging on Yemen since 2015.
Since March, there have been no reports of Houthi attacks in Saudi Arabia or Saudi airstrikes in Yemen. But the war could escalate at any moment as a ceasefire expired at the beginning of October.