Eyeing Iran, U.S. sending more Patriot missiles to Middle East
- 11 May 2019
Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has approved a new deployment of Patriot missiles to the Middle East, a U.S. official told Reuters on Friday, in the latest U.S. response to what Washington sees as a growing threat from Iran, ONAreports quoting Reuters.
The decision further bolsters U.S. defenses and comes after the Trump administration expedited the deployment of a carrier strike group and sent bombers to the Middle East following what it said were troubling indications of possible preparations for an attack by Iran.
The U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, declined to say how many Patriot batteries would be deployed. The Patriot missile defense system is made by Raytheon Co. and is designed to intercept incoming missiles.
The decision to send Patriot missiles to the region would mark a reversal of sorts, coming just months after the Pentagon removed several Patriot batteries from the Middle East.
Last year, officials described the withdrawal of the Patriots as part of a broader effort to adjust U.S. military deployments globally, as the Pentagon sought to prioritize military challenges from Russia and China.