London: It has been exposed that the United Kingdom has secretly deployed military in Saudi Arabia. The British defence department claimed that this deployment was made for the security of Saudi Arabia’s oil stocks. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing a lot of criticism as this deployment was made without the knowledge of the British Parliament. Meanwhile, the situation in the Middle East has become volatile due to the assassination of the Iranian scientist, deployment of US bombers, followed by the US aircraft carrier. Against this background, the British deployment in Saudi Arabia has become a sensitive issue.
A British newspaper exposed this secret military deployment in Saudi Arabia. The concerned newspaper reported that soldiers from the 16th Regiment Royal Artillery of the British Army and Giraffe radar system had been deployed in Saudi Arabia. The news report says that the British soldiers and the radar system have been deployed in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh. The newspaper accused that the deployment was started in February and Prime Minister Johnson has kept the information regarding this under wraps. After the opponents of Prime Minister Johnson highlighted the issue, the British defence department came up with the explanation.
The British defence department clarified that this deployment of soldiers and radar system had to be made for the safety of the sensitive economic assets, given the drone attacks on the Saudi Arabian oil stocks. The Giraffe radar system can locate enemy aircraft, missiles and drones up to a distance of 75 miles. The British defence department claimed that with this deployment, the airstrikes on Saudi Arabian fuel stocks could be neutralised. The British defence department also clarified that this deployment is still not complete and more deployments will be made in Saudi Arabia.
The British defence department referred to the drone attacks on the state-owned Saudi Arabia’s Aramco oil processing facilities at Abqaiq and Khurais in eastern Saudi Arabia, around a year ago, on 14th September 2019. The Houthi rebels had accepted the responsibility for these attacks. But Saudi Arabia had accused that Iran had carried out these attacks. These attacks had severely affected Saudi Arabia’s oil exports. The defence department clarified that the United Kingdom had to decide for this deployment, following these attacks.
The attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil projects, stocks and tankers have increased since the last few months. These attacks are being carried out, using drones, by the Houthi rebels from Yemen. Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies are retaliating against the Houthi rebels.
Meanwhile, two days ago, Iranian nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, was assassinated. Iran threatened retaliation, accusing that the United States and Israel were responsible for the attack. While Iran is issuing this threat, the gigantic US aircraft carrier, USS Nimitz is entering the Persian Gulf with its entire fleet. Only a few days ago, US B-62 bombers also had reached Qatar.
In this scenario, the exposure of the British deployment in Saudi Arabia becomes a significant development.