President Trump announced that the U.S. would be sending troops to a base in Saudi Arabia that hasn’t been active since Saddam Hassan was removed from power in 2003. The response came after tensions with Iran have slowly escalated, but was amplified after another British oil tanker was seized by the Iran Navy.
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U.S. defense officials stated that fighter jets, 500 troops and air defense missiles have been moved to Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudia Arabia, BBC reported. U.S. Central Command issued a statement announcing their decision.
“In coordination with and at the invitation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Secretary of Defense has authorized the movement of U.S. personnel and resources to deploy to Saudi Arabia,” the statement read. “This movement of forces provides an additional deterrent, and ensures our ability to defend our forces and interests in the region from emergent, credible threats.”
President Trump issued a stern warning by claiming Iran is making a mistake by trying to strongarm U.S. allies. “Iran is showing their true colors,” he told reporters at the White House. “Iran is in big trouble.”
When asked about Britain, Trump told the press: “We have no written agreement, but we have an agreement. They’ve been a very great ally of ours. … We’ll be working with the U.K. They’ll have a new prime minister soon, which is a good thing.”
According to the Daily Mail, Britain’s first oil tanker was stopped around 4 pm last week by armed soldiers and helicopters belonging to Iran. Less than 45 minutes later, another oil tanker was forced to turn back north towards Iranian waters.
The first oil tanker had 23 employees on it, and Stena Bulk, the company who owns the tankers announced they had lost contact with all on board.
“We are presently unable to contact the vessel which is now heading north towards Iran. There are 23 seafarers aboard. There have been no reported injuries and their safety is of primary concern to both owners and managers,” the company wrote in a statement.
“The priority of both vessel owner Stena Bulk and ship manager Northern Marine Management is the safety and welfare of the crew,” they added.