Officials: US putting troops back in Saudi Arabia

ROBERT BURNS

WASHINGTON (AP) — Officials say the U.S. is sending several hundred troops as well as aircraft and air defense missiles to Saudi Arabia to counter Iran.

The move has been in the works for many weeks and is not a response to Friday's seizure by Iran of a British tanker in the Persian Gulf.

Some U.S. troops already have arrived at Prince Sultan Air Base, south of Riyadh. Officials say the forces are in a defensive role.

The arrangement was announced late Friday by the Saudi government, which said it was meant to "enhance security" in the region. The Saudis made no mention of specifics.

U.S. officials speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive details say the deployment will eventually include more than 500 U.S. troops.