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The United States has deployed Patriot anti-air batteries to the bases hosting US troops in Iraq, AFP reported on March 30 citing US and Iraqi sources. The first Patriot battery was delivered to Ain al-Asad last week, while the second one was being set up at a base in Erbil. There are at least two more batteries earmarked for deployment in Iraq. However, they are yet to reach their destinations. For now, they are located in Kuwait.
It remains unclear whether Baghdad actually gave its nod of approval to the deployment. However, the US plans to bring Patriot systems to Iraq have not been a secret. Moreover, Washington strictly rejected the demand of the Iraqi government to withdraw forces from the country. The deployment of Patriot systems is a part of the larger US effort to regroup its forces in the country in response to the growing tensions.
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