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U.S. Withdrawing Some Patriot Missile Batteries From Middle East

  • Two systems being removed from Saudi Arabia, official says
  • Change doesn’t appear to signal U.S. strategy shift in Mideast

Photographer: Jack Guez/AFP via Getty Images

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The U.S. has removed two of its four Patriot antimissile batteries from Saudi Arabia and another two in the Mideast partly because tensions with Iran have eased from a peak earlier this year, according to a U.S. official.

The two batteries in Saudi Arabia were helping protect the country’s oil fields and are likely to be replaced by Saudi Patriot batteries, according to the official, who asked not to be identified discussing the change. More than 12 Patriot batteries and one THAAD battery, which can intercept ballistic missiles at higher altitudes, remain in the region, the official added.