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U.S. to boost missile defense in Gulf: spokesman

(Xinhua)

08:12, August 10, 2012

WASHINGTON, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- The United States will continue to work with its allies to boost defense against the growing threat of ballistic missiles in the Persian Gulf, a State Department spokesman said on Thursday.

"What I would say is that the threat from ballistic missiles to our deployed forces, allies and partners in the region is growing, and this threat is likely to increase in both volume and complexity in the coming years," Patrick Ventrell said at a regular news briefing.

The spokesman was commenting on a report by The New York Times saying that Washington and its Arab allies are knitting together a regional missile defense system across the Gulf to protect cities, oil refineries, pipelines and military bases from a possible Iranian attack.

"The U.S. has a robust security partnership, including missile defense, with our allies and partners in the Gulf and is committed to their security," Ventrell said, adding that Washington "will continue to work with our partners in the Middle East to strengthen missile defense in the Persian Gulf."

The United States and its NATO allies are building a missile shield in Europe that they claim targets Iran as well.

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