Tensions in Middle East has escalated quickly after the drone attacks on two facilities of Saudi Arabia. Seeing as U.S. failed to detect or intercept the attacks, Russia has offered to sell Saudi Arabia the same missile it sold Turkey and Iran.
On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that his country was “ready to provide appropriate assistance to Saudi Arabia” following the attacks on Saturday. Yemen’s “Houthi” rebels, who have been in a war with a Saudi Arabia-led coalition since 2015, claimed the responsibility of the attacks, and warned Saudi Arabia that their targets “will keep expanding”.
Putin said Saudi Arabia could protect itself better “by making a wise state decision, as Iran has already done in buying the S-300 Russian missile system and as Erdogan has already done in buying the S-400 Russian missile system.”
Putin made the offer during a tripartite meeting with Iranian and Turkish Presidents in Ankara, a few hours after the Houthis in Yemen alleged that Iranian weapons were used in the attacks of Saturday.
Mike Pompeo, the Secretary of State, accused Iran to be behind the attacks. However, the claim has been denied by Tehran.
Russia has carefully balanced its relationships with Middle East, maintained friendly terms with Iran as well as its foes Saudi Arabia and Israel, and maintained good relationship with major forces like Turkey, a member of NATO Western Military Alliance.
On the other hand, the United States has allied firmly with Saudi Arabia, along with the kingdom’s Arabian Peninsula allies, and has punished Turkey for recently acquiring Russia’s S-400 by cancelling a planned sale of advanced F-35 fighter jets.
Saudi Arabia has previously expressed in the S-400 missile which has been proven to be a coveted asset among regional powers with close U.S. ties. But instead Saudi Arabia moved forward with the purchase of United States’ Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD), a system with longer distance radar than the Patriot, but is programmed to intercept only missiles and not aircrafts, unlike the duel-use S-400.