US to send 1,000 more troops to Middle East amid Iran tensions
The Pentagon plans to send about 1,000 more troops to the Middle East as tensions rise between the US and Iran, though President Donald Trump called two recent tanker attacks blamed on the Islamic Republic “very minor.”
“I have authorised approximately 1,000 additional troops for defensive purposes to address air, naval, and ground-based threats in the Middle East,” Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said in a statement on Monday (June 17).
He offered no details on where the troops would be deployed or what their missions might be.
“The recent Iranian attacks validate the reliable, credible intelligence we have received on hostile behaviour by Iranian forces and their proxy groups that threaten United States personnel and interests across the region,” he said.
The US has accused the Iranians of being behind the attacks in the Gulf of Oman last week. Pentagon also released photos that it said showed Iranian boats removing mine from one of two tankers attacked in the Gulf of Oman on June 13.
Trump said last week that “Iran did it”, and British officials said it was “almost certain” that Teheran was behind the attacks.
The Teheran government has denied any involvement in the incident.
The acting secretary added: “The United States does not seek conflict with Iran. The action today is being taken to ensure the safety and welfare of our military personnel working throughout the region and to protect our national interests.”