USA to send 1,500 troops to Middle East

Iranian women carrying placards some bearing the portrait of US President Donald Trump during a demonstration outside the former US embassy in the Iranian capital Tehran

Iranian FM Slams Trump as'Terrorist, Vows Tehran Will'See His End AFP 2019 ATTA KENARE

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan later said planners hadn't settled on a figure.

"We are going to be sending a relatively small number of troops, mostly protective", the president said at the White House before setting off on a trip to Japan. Wheelbarger and Gilday would not comment on the type of fighter aircraft and support personnel that will be sent as plans are still in motion; the ISR aircraft could include a typical mix of RC-135 Rivet Joint, RQ-4 Global Hawk and MQ-9 Reapers, Gilday said.

"I'd say we're in a period where the threat remains high and our job is to make sure that there is no miscalculation by the Iranians", he continued, without offering any new information about the reported threats.

President Donald Trump also notified lawmakers of the move, Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Katie Wheelbarger told reporters Friday.

But only on Thursday, Mr Trump said that he did not think more troops would be needed.

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The White House plans to deploy 1,500 USA troops to the Middle East in response to what officials see as new threats from Iran, acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said Friday.

"We believe Iran's threats are escalatory and troubling", Gilday said. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World. 'Look, I don't think we ever should have been there, okay?' he said, reinforcing his campaign-year claims that he opposed the Bush-era Iraq War at the time and would have handled the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks differently.

Eager to avoid escalation with Iran amid already heightened tensions, Pentagon officials stressed the defensive nature of the deployment in a news briefing and noted that none of the troops would be heading to hot spots like Iraq or Syria.

Mr Shanahan said he had "approved a request from the combatant commander for additional resources" in the region.

The deployment follows a ramping up of USA military assets in the region, following national security adviser John Bolton's May 5 statement that Iran poses a new threat to Americans and their allies in the Middle East.

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Trump warned on Monday that Iran would be met with "great force" if it attacked U.S. interests in the Middle East.

It's possible that in the future additional U.S. Navy ships could be sent to the region beyond the USS Abraham Lincoln Strike Group and the USS Kearsarge Amphibious Group that are now in the North Arabian Sea.

Others are what Saudi Arabia described as armed drone attacks on two oil pumping stations and the sabotage of four vessels including two Saudi oil tankers. Tim Kaine criticizing the "very bellicose tweets from the president" and warning that it would "be a colossal disaster if the United States were involved in Iran".

"We did attribute [the tanker attacks] directly to limpet mines, and those limpet mines to the [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps]", he said.

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