Saudi Arabia seeks “reassurance” from the United States, says a top US general, citing Iran.
Chief of the US Central Command (CENTCOM) Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie made the allegations to reporters following him during a visit to the kingdom on Sunday.
“I think they want reassurance that they’re going to be helped if they’re attacked by Iran, and they want help against the continuing attacks,” claimed the top US general in the Middle East.
The commander further suggested that the US support for the monarchy is not only about American military equipment like American Patriot missile systems.
“The point that I made today and we continue to make it all the time is: It’s not actually the types of equipment that are here, it’s maximizing the use of the more than 20 Patriot batteries that you do have the interoperable with us, maximizing those capabilities, so that if trouble occurred we can certainly come back in very quickly to help our Saudi friends,” McKenzie alleged.
‘US smart games!’
Enumerating even more Saudi concerns, McKenzie further brought up Yemeni retaliatory attacks.
“They’re under constant bombardment from Yemen, with a variety of ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and small UAS (unmanned aerial systems) they’re very concerned about. We want to help them with that,” he claimed.
He also promised that Washington would continue its military presence there.
“I think we’re still going to have a presence here. It might not look exactly like the presence it was five or seven years ago where we get hundreds and thousands of forces here, but I think we’re going to play very smart games to leverage what we have,” he said.
Tehran has time and again asserted that the Saudi-led aggression and blockade against Yemen must end as there is no military solution to the ongoing crisis.
This is while, some have suggested that the kingdom’s failure in its war on Yemen is tied to its recent attempt to broker rapprochement with Iran.