Greece to deploy Patriot missile system in Saudi Arabia

6 February 2020 (Last Updated February 6th, 2020 11:33)

Greece is planning to deploy its Patriot surface-to-air missile system unit in Saudi Arabia as part of a programme that also involves the US, the UK and France.

Greece to deploy Patriot missile system in Saudi Arabia
Greece’s Patriot surface-to-air missile is expected to be deployed in Saudi Arabia. Credit: MathKnight and Zachi Evenor.

Greece is planning to deploy its Patriot surface-to-air missile system unit in Saudi Arabia as part of a programme that also involves the US, the UK and France.

Government spokesman Stelios Petsas said that the latest move comes after airstrikes by Yemeni Armed Forces targeted key installations, as well as sites in Saudi Arabia, in response to the ongoing aggression against Yemen from five years ago.

Petsas was quoted by media sources as saying: “The deployment contributes to energy security, promotes our country as a factor of regional stability and strengthens our ties to Saudi Arabia.”

Talks regarding the deployment of the Patriot missile system started in October last year after the Yemeni strike on state-owned company Aramco in Saudi Arabia on 14 September.

Drone attacks at that time set alight two major oil facilities run by the company, state media said.

The first attack was carried out at the company’s oil processing plant in Abqaiq while a second drone attack started fires in the Khurais oilfield.

Military spokesman Yahya Sarea told al-Masirah TV, which is owned by the Houthi movement, that the attack was one of the biggest operations the Houthi forces had undertaken inside Saudi Arabia, the BBC reported.

Recently, Petsas said that around 130 personnel will accompany the Patriot missiles.

Last week, the Greek Parliament approved an updated defence agreement with the US, which allowed the use of Greek Military facilities.

France deployed a radar system last month on the eastern coast of Saudi Arabia to enhance its ally’s defences following the drone attacks on the country’s oil infrastructure in September, according to French officials.