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US pulls missile defenses in Saudi Arabia amid Yemen attacks

FILE - In this Feb. 20, 2020, file pool photo, a member of the U.S. Air Force stands near a Patriot missile battery at Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia. The U.S. has removed its most advanced missile defense system and Patriot batteries from Saudi Arabia's Prince Sultan Air Base in recent weeks, even as the kingdom faced continued air attacks from Yemen's Houthi rebels, satellite photos analyzed by The Associated Press show. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Pool via AP, File)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Satellite photos analyzed by The Associated Press show the U.S. has removed its most advanced missile defense system and Patriot batteries from Saudi Arabia in recent weeks.

That’s even as the kingdom faced continued air attacks from Yemen’s Houthi rebels.

Both the U.S. and Saudi Arabia acknowledged the redeployment of one advanced Terminal High Altitude Area Defense unit and the Patriot missiles in statements to the AP.

While tens of thousands of American forces remain across the Arabian Peninsula as a counterweight to Iran, Gulf Arab nations worry about the U.S.′s future plans as its military perceives a growing threat in Asia that requires those missile defenses.

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