The US is preparing to send 500 troops to Saudi Arabia to front up to the growing Iran threat, it was reported.
They will be deployed to a remote base east of the Saudi capital Riyadh, according to two US defense officials.
The move will fortify the growing Prince Sultan Air Base - which is being heavily built-up with a Patriot missile defense battery and an improved runway, CNN reported.
It’s hoped that fifth-generation F-22 stealth jets and other fighters will be flown from the base to strike Iranian targets should war break out, the unnamed officials said.
US military chiefs believe the site is well protected from Iranian attack because of its remote desert location.
It comes amid feverish tensions between Iran and the West that has seen tense naval standoffs and attacks on oil supply routes.
Meanwhile, the US House of Representatives voted Tuesday to block the sale of precision-guided munitions to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
President Donald Trump has previously promised a veto to overrule Congress and complete the deals - worth more than $8billion.
The fresh deployment is part of the 1,000 additional troops being sent to the Middle East announced by the US last month.
An official announcement is expected next week - although Congress has not yet been officially told of the plan, the defense sources said.