Washington continues to amass forces in the Middle East as the Pentagon accuses Iran of an ‘ongoing threat’ to US allies and interests. Here’s what they plan on sending.
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan outlined the deployment, which he said will include 1,500 troops, a Patriot missile battalion, combat and reconnaissance aircraft, as well as intelligence assets, in a statement Friday.
Statement from @ActingSecDef on sending 1,500 US military personnel to Mid East region after threats from #Iran Please note, it’s really less that 1,000–per Admiral Gilday at the Pentagon–since 600 troops are extending deployment w/ the Patriot battalion already in region pic.twitter.com/K66G2VrF6q
— Carla Babb (@CarlaBabbVOA) May 24, 2019
Around 600 of the troops are already in the region and will simply extend their deployments, the Pentagon said, putting the actual number of fresh boots on the ground at 900 or so.
Pentagon officials say the move comes in response to an Iranian “campaign” against US interests in the Middle East, blaming the Islamic Republic for a recent attack on tanker vessels at port in the UAE.
“The attack against the shipping in Fujairah we attribute it to the IRGC,” Rear Admiral Michael Gilday, the director of the Joint Staff, said at a Pentagon news briefing Friday, referring to the Revolutionary Guard Corps, an elite Iranian force the US has declared a “terrorist organization.”
The attacks used a particular type of explosive which is linked to the IRGC, according to Gilday, though he declined to describe the “the means of delivery” of the devices.
Earlier this month, Washington sent an aircraft carrier, heavy bombers and other military assets to the region to address the alleged imminent threat from Iran.
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