In March, Biden ordered declassification of report on Jamal Khashoggi’s murder
The White House has reportedly ordered certain US military forces and equipment to leave Saudi Arabia, which may underscore the Biden administration’s desire to concentrate its international resources away from the Middle East.
Financial daily The Wall Street The Journal reported Thursday that the United States had “withdrawn at least three Patriot anti-missile batteries from the Gulf region, including one from Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia, which had been set up in recent years to help to protect the American forces â.
“Some capabilities, including an aircraft carrier and surveillance systems, are being diverted from the Middle East to meet military needs elsewhere in the world,” the newspaper continued, adding that “further cuts are under consideration” .
In February, the Pentagon issued a statement reaffirming its “strategic defense partnership” with Riyadh in the face of increasing attacks by Yemeni rebels.
But since the inauguration of US President Joe Biden, tensions have erupted between Washington and the Islamic Kingdom, particularly over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
In early March, Biden ordered the declassification of an intelligence report which revealed that Saudi Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) had ordered the 2018 murder of Khashoggi, an American contributor to The Washington Post who was lured into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
The report revealed that seven of the 15 members of the squad that visited Istanbul were from the Rapid Intelligence Force, which it said “exists to defend the Crown Prince” and “answers only to him” .
The Treasury Department has imposed forceful sanctions – meaning any US dealings with it will be a crime – but the administration has not personally targeted the powerful crown prince.
While the administration has not imposed punishment on MBS for this gruesome murder, citing Saudi Arabia’s invaluable contribution to regional security interests, U.S. lawmakers remain outraged by the prince’s actions, including many. democrats.