Bab al-Mandab, Yemen 0
23 May 2021

While visiting Saudi Arabia, CENTCOM Commander Kenneth McKenzie indicated that the Saudis “want reassurance that they’re going to be helped if they’re attacked by Iran, and they want help against the continuing attacks”. “Far more important [than the presence of U.S. troops] is sort of the broad spectrum of capabilities that we give them”, McKenzie noted, adding: “It’s not actually the types of equipment that are here, it’s maximising the use of the more than twenty Patriot batteries that you do have the interoperable with us, maximising those capabilities, so that if trouble occurred we can certainly come back in very quickly to help our Saudi friends”. “Our posture in the theater has prevented a state on state attack from Iran”, he asserted, going on to underscore that “we’re still going to have a presence here. It might not look exactly like the presence it was five or seven years ago where we get hundreds and thousands of forces here, but I think we’re going to play very smart games to leverage what we have”. McKenzie also noted that the Saudis were “under constant bombardment from Yemen, with a variety of ballistic missiles, cruise missile and small UAS they’re very concerned about. We want to help them with that”.

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