Posted on May 24, 2019
It follows the ramping up of tensions with Iran over the last few months, with President Donald Trump calling Tehran “the number one provocateur of terror”. No final decision has yet been made and it is not clear if the White House will approve sending all 10,000 troops or just some of that figure. Any increase in forces to the Middle East would signal a shift for President Trump who has previously called on the need to reduce personnel in the region.
Officials said the move is not in response to any new threat from Iran but is aimed at reinforcing regional security. They also said the troops would be defensive forces and that talks would include additional missile batteries, more ships and increased efforts to monitor Iran. Air Force Colonel Patrick Ryder, spokesman for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said: “We are not going to discuss or speculate on potential or alleged future operations or plans”.
Earlier this month, the US sent an aircraft carrier and bombers to the Persian Gulf to counter supposed threats from Iran. US officials have provided few details about those threats but indicated they initially involved missiles loaded onto small boats. This week, officials said the missiles had been removed off the boats but other maritime threats continue.