Saudi Arabia is a key partner in the fight against terrorism and in ensuring regional stability, a Pentagon official said Thursday.
“Saudi Arabia is a pillar of regional security architecture, and they’re a core stakeholder in the threat against terrorism and countering Iran’s destabilizing activities,” Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said in response to a question from Al Arabiya at the Pentagon.
Kirby added that the US was committed to assisting Saudi Arabia with the defense of its borders “in light of emerging and credible threats.”
The Iran-backed Houthi militia has continuously targeted civilians and targets inside Saudi Arabia.
On Wednesday, the Houthis claimed a drone attack on a civilian airplane at Saudi Arabia's Abha airport.
#Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan and his #US counterpart discussed in a telephone conversation the attack on Abha airport and several regional developments, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reports.https://t.co/HGFJ9bNwtx— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) February 11, 2021
The Pentagon official also reaffirmed that there was no change in US policy toward helping Riyadh defend itself from attacks.
Asked if the US had enough assets in the region to defend its interests as well as Saudi Arabia, Kirby said he would not talk about future or potential operations.
“Nothing has changed with our policy and commitment to helping Saudi Arabia defend its borders.”