The United States is sending an additional 1,000 soldiers to the Middle East following suspected Iranian attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. The troops were requested by the head of U.S. Central Command, Gen. Frank McKenzie.
Acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan released a statement addressing the deployment. “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,” he said, adding that the troops are “for defensive purposes to address air, naval, and ground-based threats in the Middle East.”
The move follows recent deployments to the region of 1,500 other troops, the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier strike group, and B-52 bombers. Those resources were deployed in response to possible impending attacks from Iran or its proxies cited by the White House.