Saudi Arabia deploys 30K troops to Iraqi border

Saudi Arabia deploys 30K troops to Iraqi border

Saudi Arabia deployed 30,000 soldiers to its border with Iraq after Iraqi soldiers abandoned the area, Saudi-owned al-Arabiya television said on Thursday, but Baghdad denied this and said the frontier remained under its full control.

The world’s top oil exporter, Saudi Arabia shares an 800-km (500-mile) border with Iraq, where Islamic State insurgents and other Sunni Muslim militant groups seized towns and cities in a lightning advance last month.

King Abdullah has ordered all necessary measures to protect the kingdom against potential “terrorist threats”, state news agency SPA reported on Thursday. …

The Dubai-based al-Arabiya said on its website that Saudi troops fanned into the border region after Iraqi government forces withdrew from positions, leaving the Saudi and Syrian frontiers unprotected.

The Iraqi prime minister’s military spokesman denied the forces had withdrawn. …

The satellite channel said it had obtained a video showing some 2,500 Iraqi soldiers in the desert region east of the Iraqi city of Karbala after pulling back from the border.

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