The United States has removed its most advanced missile defence system and Patriot batteries from Saudi Arabia in recent weeks, even as the kingdom faced continued air attacks from Yemen’s Houthi rebels. While tens of thousands of American forces remain across the Arabian Peninsula as a counterweight to Iran, Gulf Arab nations worry about the US’s future plans as its military perceives a growing threat in Asia that requires those missile defences.
Saudi Arabia maintains its own Patriot missile batteries and typically fires two missiles at an incoming target. That’s become an expensive proposition amid the Houthi campaign, as each Patriot missile costs more than $3 million. The kingdom also claims to intercept nearly every missile and drone launched at the kingdom, an incredibly high success rate previously questioned by experts.
Source: Associated Press