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US to deploy more troops to Saudi Arabia, UAE

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The Pentagon said on Friday that the US will deploy additional troops and military equipment to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to beef up security, as President Donald Trump has at least for now decided against any immediate military strikes in response to attacks on the Saudi oil industry.

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said this is a first step, and he is not ruling out additional moves down the road. He said it’s a response to requests from the Saudis and the UAE to help improve their air and missile defences.

Esper and General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said details of the deployments will be determined over the coming days.

Saudi and US officials have said that evidence shows Iranian involvement in last weekend’s attacks – an allegation Tehran denies.

Yemen’s Houthi rebels, who have been locked in a war with a Saudi-UAE-led coalition since 2015, claimed responsibility for the attacks, warning Saudi Arabia that their targets “will keep expanding”.

More soon …

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