The press service analyzed satellite images from Plant Labs Inc., which showed Prince Sultan Air Base previously had a high-altitude area defense unit and missile defense system in addition to batteries. of Patriot missiles. Several batteries were no longer at the air base, according to images taken in late August and examined by the PA.
The outlet noted that the missile system and batteries appeared to be gone after analyzing photos taken on Friday.
Following the PA’s inquiries, the Pentagon press secretary John KirbyJohn KirbyBlinken and Austin to visit Gulf and European allies to discuss failed war in Afghanistan Defense and National Security – Afghanistan’s mental scars Pentagon to raise awareness of mental health after the collapse of the Afghanistan conceded that “some air defense means” had been redeployed.
“The Department of Defense continues to maintain tens of thousands of forces and a robust position of strength in the Middle East representing some of our most advanced air and sea capabilities, in support of US national interests and regional partnerships. Kirby told the AP.
The Hill has contacted U.S. Central Command for comment.
Earlier this year, the Pentagon said “certain forces and capabilities” would be withdrawn from the Middle East.
“The Secretary of Defense has ordered the commander of the US Central Command to withdraw certain forces and capabilities, mainly air defense, from the region this summer,” said Pentagon spokeswoman Cmdr. Jessica McNulty said in a statement.
McNulty explained that this decision was made in “close coordination with the host countries” and that it was “to keep some of our assets in high demand and low density so that they are ready for future needs in the future. emergency ”.
The Saudi Defense Ministry also conceded in a statement to the PA that the defense missiles had been withdrawn, but maintained that the decision was made through “a common understanding and realignment of defense strategies”.
“The redeployment of some of the defense capabilities of the region friendly United States of America is accomplished through a common understanding and realignment of defense strategies as an attribute of operational deployment and readiness,” he said. the ministry said in its press release.