US to deploy 1,000 more troops to Middle East after alleged Iran tanker attacks
WASHINGTON: The United States will deploy an additional 1,000 troops to the Middle East in response to the attack on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman that the US blames on Iran.
In a statement Monday, Acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan said the troops were being deployed for “defensive purposes to address air, naval and ground-based threats in the Middle East.”
“The recent Iranian attacks validate the reliable, credible intelligence we have received on hostile behavior by Iranian forces and their proxy groups that threaten United States personnel and interests across the region,” Shanahan said in the statement.
“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,” Shanahan said in the statement.
“We will continue to monitor the situation diligently and make adjustments to force levels as necessary given intelligence reporting and credible threats,” he added.
On Sunday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Fox News that more evidence will be released to show Iran was responsible for attacks on the oil tankers.
He added the Trump administration is weighing all options – including military – in response.
“The intelligence community has lots of data, lots of evidence – the world will come to see much of it,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.” “The American people should rest assured we have high confidence with respect to who conducted these attacks, as well as half a dozen other attacks throughout the world over the past 40 days.”