By Umar Farooq
The Pentagon said Wednesday it will remove four missile systems from Kuwait, Jordan and Bahrain, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Two Patriot missile systems will be removed from Kuwait, along with one each from Bahrain and Jordan.
The Journal cited U.S. Central Command (Centcom) as saying it is a strategic shift into focusing efforts away from conflict areas in the Middle East and toward Russia and China.
While Saudi Arabia and Qatar also have Patriot missile systems given to them by the U.S., the large reduction in systems shows that the U.S. is significantly reducing its force in the region, according to experts.
Patriot missiles are used for defense purposes, mainly to shoot down incoming missiles and planes. They have a short range and stick close to military bases as a means of defense.
The Journal spoke to officials about the matter, who said the missile systems will not be replaced, and will be redeployed to other areas.
The U.S. currently has a large naval base in Bahrain where the Naval Forces Central Command and Fifth Fleet are stationed.
Thousands of U.S. troops are also stationed in Kuwait and Jordan.