An official from the Joe Biden administration has reportedly claimed that Saudi Arabia’s interceptor missiles for US-made Patriot air-defence may be exhausted in “months”. The official further prompted the Riyadh government to appeal to close allies to replenish the stock.
The concern has been raised because of the continuous attack by the Yemeni army.
“The situation is critical, and now it has become urgent”, said the official adding, “No other place in the Persian Gulf can help in replenishing, and we are working on that. It might be an easier and faster alternative to (US) army.”
Similarly, another Biden-led administration official said that the “US has been trying hard to work closely with Saudis and other Middle East allies to bridge the coverage gap”.
The third US official, on the same breadth, said that Yemeni’s 375 attacks had caused massive damage to Saudi cities, airports and oil infrastructure. He quoted saying, “If they face the response to those attacks using these interceptors missiles, they will have a burn rate faster than their own attacks.” He added that answer to Yemen’s attack would not be just a missile but also a diplomatic solution to the crisis in the nation.”
Reportedly, two people have opened about the talks between Saudi and its neighbours. One of them said that Saudi is facing (inceptors) shortage and has been trying to get help from its friends.” Meanwhile, others said that Saudi Crown Prince Mohd bin Salman has hinted at the issue during the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Riyadh, in December 2021.
As of now, there is no confirmation about the help provided by any of the allies.
In February 2021, Joe Biden finished US’ support to Saudi Arabia. Still, after a few months, his administration showed a green flag for the $650 million sales of air-to-air-missile to Saudi. During a Middle East conference, at the same time, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin said that America has been enhancing Saudi’s capacity to protect itself.”