Dubai: A number of Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia, have approved Washington’s request to redeploy US forces in Arabian Gulf waters and territories to thwart possible Iranian attacks in the region, the pan-Arab Asharq Al Awsat daily reported, citing informed sources.
The sources said the primary aim of the redeployment of US forces in Gulf states was to enable joint US-Gulf efforts to deter Iran from any military escalation. It was also intended to build cooperation between American and Gulf military forces. Such measures would protect the energy supply and prevent Iran from disrupting maritime traffic in that region, they added.
The sources told the paper the approval of Gulf states on the redeployment was based on bilateral agreements.
“Saudi Arabia and the rest of GCC states do not wish to start a war with Iran, but they want to send a strong message to Tehran that it cannot cross the red line by continuing to provoke forces operating in the Arabian Gulf,” the sources told Asharq Al Awsat on Friday, adding that the Kingdom does not wish to engage in a war with Tehran, yet Riyadh is capable of protecting its territories from any aggression.
Washington has sent its aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln to the Arabian Gulf. The development comes as four commercial vessels, including two Saudi oil tankers, were sabotaged near Fujairah, and after Al Houthi militia in Yemen launched a drone terror strike against two Saudi oil pumping stations.