Published: Sat, July 20, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Trump may send hundreds of troops out amid Iran tensions

Trump may send hundreds of troops out amid Iran tensions

Preparations were underway at the base for a Patriot missile defense battery, a runway and airfield improvements, officials told CNN, which was the first to report the deployment.

The unnamed USA officials said that Washington is expected to fly stealth, fifth-generation F-22 jets and other fighters from the air base.

Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, in his remarks on the floor, said, "the Trump Administration has used a phony emergency to override the authority of Congress and push through eight billion dollars in arms sales".

Last month senator Lindsey Graham delivered a stinging rebuke of the arms sales and Riyadh, saying he hoped the vote would 'send a signal to Saudi Arabia that if you act the way you're acting, there is no space for a strategic relationship'.

A major deployment of American troops to Saudi Arabia following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990 also proved to be controversial in the kingdom.

The Pentagon announced last month it was sending an extra 1,000 troops to the area for defensive purposes, particularly citing tensions with Iran.

Congress has not been formally notified of the deployment, although one official told CNN that they had been given an informal heads up and an announcement is expected next week. "The encampment to the east of the runway is typical of Air Force engineering squadrons deployed overseas", he said.

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The back-and-forth captured the potential impacts of Trump's willingness to inject racist rhetoric into his reelection fight. He said he "would certainly try" to stop the chant should it return at a subsequent rally.

The passing of the resolutions shows Congress' disapproval of USA military support for the oil-rich nation and frustration that Trump has sought to bypass Congressional approval for weapons sales.

Critics of the sale also had denounced the White House for bypassing congressional review of the arms sales, which was done by invoking an emergency loophole in the Arms Export Control Act. "These are countries that are already using American-made weapons in a campaign in Yemen that resulted in innocent civilians being targeted and killed", David Cicilline, a Rhode Island-based Democratic Congressman told Newsweek.

House Democrats are also pushing an amendment to a major defence authorisation bill passed by the House and pending before the Senate that could force Trump's hand in ending United States support for the Saudi war in Yemen.

Tens of thousands have died since the onset of the war, and the entire Yemen has been pushed close to the edge of outright starvation.

The three contracts relate to plans by United States weapons-maker Raytheon to build a co-production plant in Saudi Arabia to assemble "Paveway" smart bombs, the type of laser and GPS-guided weapons that in 2018 destroyed a school bus in Yemen killing more than 40 boys.

Khashoggi, a U.S. national, was killed and dismembered in the Saudi embassy in Turkey, allegedly by agents of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

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