Saudi Arabia paid $500 million for cost of US troops in area

The United States has received $500 million from Saudi Arabia to help cover the cost of American troops stationed in the kingdom, a U.S. official told CNN.

The payment was reportedly made in December, and last week President TrumpDonald John TrumpChanges in policies, not personalities, will improve perception of corruption in the US Union leader: Bloomberg can go all the way Pelosi: 'I'm not counting Joe Biden out' MORE said in a Fox News interview that the kingdom had "already deposited $1 billion in the bank."

However, earlier in the week, the Pentagon could not confirm to the network whether or not the payments had taken place.

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"Consistent with the President's guidance to increase partner burden-sharing, the Department of Defense has engaged Saudi Arabia on sharing the cost of these deployments, which support regional security and dissuade hostility and aggression," Pentagon spokeswoman Cmdr. Rebecca Rebarich said.

Rebarich said that Saudi Arabia had "made the first contribution" but that "discussions are ongoing to formalize a mechanism for future contributions that offset the cost of these deployments."

The deployment of additional U.S. troops started in September after attacks on Saudi oil facilities. Both the U.S. and Saudi Arabia believe that Iran was behind the aggression.

The funds will reportedly cover the United States' overall cost of deploying troops, including fighter jets and Patriot missile defense batteries meant to protect Saudi oil fields from further attacks from Iran.

"While we will not comment on specific bilateral defense agreements, more broadly the United States encourages burden-sharing among partners in support of shared security interests, to include defense of the Arabian Gulf," a State Department official told CNN.