US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has ordered the military to pull out four Patriot air defense systems from from Jordan, Kuwait and Bahrain in the Middle East, the Wall Street Journal reported on September 26, citing several senior military officials.
According to the WSJ, the US Central Command has refused to comment on the matter. However, the media outlet speculated that the decision is aimed at boosting the US effort to counter more global “threats” such as China and Russia.
Some media outlets and “experts” even claimed that this means that Washington is going to contribute less attention to the situation in the Middle East. Nonetheless, this is highly unlikely.
A conflict with Iran and support to Israel are important points of the foreign policy of the current US administration. US President Donald Trump has repeatedly stated this officially. Furthermore, his administration has made a number of steps in this direction. In light of the recent developments over Syria, including the IL-20 incident and a Russian decision to supply an S-300 system to the Syrian military, the US support to Israel will grow further.
Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad already stated that now with S-300 systems in the hands of the country’s military, Israel would “have to recalculate and reconsider before attacking again”.