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The U.S. is deploying additional troops and military hardware to Saudi Arabia, the Pentagon said on Friday, in what appeared to be a move to counter Iran.

The decision was taken following a phone call between U.S. Defence Secretary Mark Esper and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

“Taken together with other deployments, this constitutes an additional 3,000 forces that have been extended or authorised within September,” the Pentagon said.

“The U.S. does not seek conflict with the Iranian regime,” the statement added.

The most recent deployment was made at the end of September, following an attack on an oil plant in the kingdom which Washington blamed on Iran.

The latest deployment includes two fighter squadrons, two Patriot batteries and a THAAD air-defence system.

(dpa/NAN)

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