Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries have agreed on a U.S. request to redeploy its troops on their territory and in Gulf waters in order to deter potential Iranian attacks, Saudi-owned newspaper Asharq Al Awsat reported on Saturday.
“Approval of the redeployment is based on bilateral agreements between the U.S. and the Gulf countries,’’ the report said, without naming the states.
The report said that the U.S. was not looking to go to war with Iran.
“The prime motive for the redeployment of the U.S. troops in the Gulf countries is to carry out a joint action to deter Iran from making any attempt to militarily escalate the situation.
“Also that Iran will not be able to attack the Gulf states or U.S. interests in the region and not to engage in a war against it,’’ the newspaper said, citing what it called well-informed sources in the region.
Tensions have been rising in the Gulf as aggressive rhetoric ramps up between Washington and Tehran.
Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries are traditional allies of the U.S.
Iran is a regional rival of Saudi Arabia, both powers are on opposite sides on wars in Syria and Yemen.
On Sunday, the United Arab Emirates, a Gulf country, said four commercial vessels were sabotaged off its coast.
Two days later, Saudi Arabia said two oil pipeline booster stations in the Riyadh province were targeted by explosive-laden drones, an attack claimed by Yemen’s Iran-linked Houthi rebels.
Riyadh blamed Iran and the Houthis for the attack.
The U.S. Central Command said this week that U.S. forces in Iraq and neighbouring Syria had been placed on high alert, following “credible threats” from Iranian forces.
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