US Reinforces Saudi Air Defense After Condemnation of Iran

A Patriot missile battery deployed in the Middle East (Credit: Todd Maisel, NY Daily News via Getty Images)

A Patriot missile battery deployed in the Middle East (Credit: Todd Maisel, NY Daily News via Getty Images)

The United States, France, Great Britain and Germany released a joint statement from the UN General Assembly today in which they held Iran responsible for the missile and drone attack on Saudi oil facilities on September 14th. Newly-appointed British Prime Minister Boris Johnson even alluded to a potential role for the UK in more direct action, stating that his government was looking into "what kind of action it can take" regarding the attack.

The statements of solidarity came only two days after US Secretary of Defense Epstein announced that the United States will be sending additional American troops and air defense systems to Saudi Arabia and the UAE in the coming weeks in an effort to shore up the defensive posture of their Gulf partners. Previously, Saudi radar detection and missile defense systems were positioned to detect and intercept targets coming from Yemen to the southwest. Therefore, the 9/14 attack, which originated from Iran to the northeast, caught the Saudi military off-guard. For years, Iran's strategy has been to use their proxy forces to flank and pincer both Israel and the Gulf kingdoms on every side. The additional US deployment, expected to include several hundred soldiers, would allow the Saudis to defend against airborne attacks from any direction, including Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Iran, The increased air defense would allow the Saudi-led Arab Coalition to respond to Iranian attacks without fear of devastating counterattacks on their civilian centers or the global oil supply, much as Israel's advanced air defense systems allows the IDF to respond to attacks launched by Iranian proxies in Gaza, Lebanon and Syria.

While additional pressure is being applied to Iran's financial institutions, and while the chorus of global voices is growing in condemnation of the regime, it is unlikely (if history serves as an indication) that these measures will deter Iran's course. The question must now be asked; when Iran commits its next blatant and reckless act of war, will the US, Israel and Arab Coalition be in a position to respond? Time will tell, and we may not need to wait long to find out.

Shalom from Israel.