13 January, 2020
WASHINGTON/ RIYADH: Saudi servicemen training at US military bases will be expelled from United States in the aftermath of a Pentagon review prompted by the deadly December 6 shooting by a Saudi Air Force officer at an American naval base in Florida, CNN reported on Saturday.
Quoting unnamed sources, CNN reported Saudi personnel being expelled are not accused of aiding the Saudi Air Force second lieutenant who killed three American sailors at the Pensacola installation.
The Pentagon referred questions to the Justice Department, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The FBI and the Saudi Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The Pentagon announced on December 10 it was halting operational training of all Saudi Arabian military personnel in the United States after the incident. The Pentagon then announced on December 19 that it found no threat in its review of about 850 military students from Saudi Arabia studying in the United States.
The shooting, which took place at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida, left eight people injured including two sheriff’s deputies who responded to the attack.
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz, in a telephonic conversation
with US president Donald Trump had denounced a fatal shooting at an American naval base, according to the state media.
The Saudi king expressed deep sorrow over the Florida shooting —allegedly carried out by a Saudi air force member — and pledged cooperation with the United States, said the official Saudi Press Agency.
“He (the King) affirmed that the perpetrator of this heinous crime does not represent the Saudi people,” it reported. (Int’l Monitoring Desk)