The military is now focused to a greater extent towards tensions with China and Russia, a Wall Street Journal report has it, citing senior military officials.
The United States is pulling some of its anti-aircraft and missile batteries out of the Middle East, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, citing US senior military officials. The removal will reportedly be conducted next month.
As many as four Patriot missile systems will be pulled out of Jordan, Kuwait and Bahrain, the edition stated, adding that the step essentially marks a shift of attention away from long-lasting military confrontation in the Middle East and Afghanistan, towards tensions, including a trade spat, with China and Russia.
It is not immediately clear what the exact number of US troops in the Middle East is, but according to Pentagon data, the country has roughly 54,000 troops in more than a dozen of Middle Eastern countries and is maintaining military bases in seven of them. The general list includes Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Bahrain.
According to the Pentagon's quarterly reports on US military presence around the world, published in November 2017, the number of US soldiers and civilians working for the Department of Defense in the Middle East is 54,180, up from 40,517 during the first two quarters of 2017.