Saudi Arabia and Greece have agreed to deploy the Patriot anti-aircraft missiles of the Greek Air Force, in the kingdom.
Sources told the Greek newspaper Kathimerini that the technical details related to the transportation, deployment, cost, and operational responsibilities of the missiles are still being discussed.
According to the sources, the agreement was reached between the two countries a few weeks ago, against the backdrop of a Saudi desire to strengthen its air defenses, after targeting Aramco oil facilities last year.
Observers say the move comes as a result of Washington’s pressure on Athens for a Greek presence in the Persian Gulf, where Greece has twice responded to US requests to send a frigate to join a naval force in the region, under the leadership of the United States.
There was no official comment from Riyadh or Athens about what the newspaper reported.
However, the move comes two days after French officials revealed that their country has deployed a radar system on the eastern coast of Saudi Arabia, considering that this system contributes to strengthening the Kingdom’s defenses after last September’s missile attacks targeting Saudi oil installations.
It was preceded by the deployment of the US, thousands of additional forces, and missile defense batteries in Saudi Arabia, in response to what Pentagon officials said was “against a growing threat from Iran” as they put it.
Thus, the Greek force is the third to be deployed in Saudi Arabia.
-Saudi and Greece