The Trump administration is preparing to send 500 troops to Saudi Arabia amid increasing tensions with Iran, CNN reports.
The troops are expected to be sent to the Prince Sultan Air Base, located in the desert east of Riyadh. A small number of troops and support personnel are already on site with initial preparations being made for a Patriot missile defense battery as well as runway and airfield improvements, two officials told CNN.
Last month the administration announced it was sending 1,000 additional troops to the Middle East. The forces going to Saudi Arabia are part of this deployment.
The US hopes to be able to fly stealth, fifth-generation F-22 jets and other fighters from the base, officials told CNN.
The news of additional U.S. troops being deployed to Saudi Arabia comes at a complex time for U.S.-Saudi relations. This week, congress voted to block the Trump administration from selling billions of dollars in weapons and maintenance support to Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
The vote sets up a showdown with the Trump administration, who is expected to veto the measure.