WASHINGTON — The United States is sending about 3,000 additional troops to Saudi Arabia in the latest military response by the Trump administration after it accused Iran of attacks last month on Saudi oil facilities, the Pentagon said on Friday.
The move came only five days after President Trump said that his desire to terminate America’s “endless wars” led to his decision to pull back from the border area between Syria and Turkey about 50 troops who were working to create a “safe zone” between Turkish and Kurdish troops.
State Department officials struggled on Friday to answer questions about how the roles of the incoming American forces in the Persian Gulf kingdom and those being pulled back from the Syrian border differed, and whether the deployments to Saudi Arabia contradicted the president’s strategy of withdrawing from the Middle East.
“The troops that we are sending into Saudi and the enhanced assets are defensive,’’ said Brian H. Hook, the State Department’s special representative for Iran. “They are there to defend our interests and to help Saudi defend itself.”