US and Saudi military forces and their elaborate air-defence systems have failed to detect the launch of airstrikes aimed at Saudi oil facilities, allowing dozens of drones and missiles to hit their targets, US officials have said.
The US deployed a Patriot missile system to Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia earlier this year, but that system is intended to defend the base, where more than 500 U.S. personnel are deployed, along with the area immediately around it. Tje system wasn’t within range to defend against the Saturday attack, US officials said.
The US contends that Iran has been lashing out against the U.S. since May, after the Trump administration reimposed crippling sanctions that have tipped its economy into recession.
Saudi Arabia has using American Patriot systems to try and shoot down Yemeni missile and drones fired from Yemen at the nation’s capital, Riyadh. However, a series of Yemeni successes at the border region has forced Saudi Arabia to focus missile-defense systems on its southern border with Yemen, leaving other areas of the country without the same level of protection.