March 14, 2011 / 10:45 PM / 6 years ago

US defense officals not warned of Bahrain deployment

WASHINGTON, March 14 (Reuters) - Top U.S. defense and military officials were given no indication during recent visits to the Middle East that Saudi forces would deploy to Bahrain, the Pentagon said on Monday.

"We have communicated to all parties our concerns regarding actions that could be provocative or inflame sectarian tensions," Colonel Dave Lapan, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement.

The Pentagon said neither Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who was in the region last week, nor Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had no prior knowledge of the deployment by close ally Saudi Arabia.

Editing by Jackie Frank

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