Monday, 24 June, 2019

Trump agreed to send more troops to the Middle East

A soldier of the US Army holds his M16 rifle Enlarge Image Getty Images
Deanna Wagner | 24 May, 2019, 22:56

Speaking to reporters outside the White House Friday, U.S. President Donald Trump flatly declared that it is the intention of U.S. foreign policy never to allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon. Shanahan told reporters on a possible further buildup of the United States military presence.

"We want to have protection in the Middle East, we're going to be sending a relatively small number of troops, mostly protective", he said.

"We want to have protection in the Middle East. We'll see what happens". They can not have nuclear weapons and under the Obama terrible agreement, they would have had nuclear weapons within five or six years.

"This is a prudent response to credible threats from Iran", said Acting Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan.

CBS News has confirmed that the new deployment of forces to the Persian Gulf will include more Patriot missile batteries and other force protection systems and will be designed for the long-haul confrontation with Iran, CBS News' David Martin reports, citing USA officials.

Shanahan acknowledged that such a request " may involve sending additional troops".

United States officials earlier said members of Congress were notified of the plan after a White House meeting Thursday to discuss the Pentagon's proposals to boost the military presence in the region.

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There are now 60,000 to 80,000 USA troops serving in the Middle East including 14,000 in Afghanistan, 5,000 in Iraq, 2,000 in Syria, 10,000 in Kuwait, 10,000 in Qatar and thousands more at sea and elsewhere in the region.

Officials had said Pentagon planners had outlined plans that could have sent up to 10,000 military reinforcements to the Mideast.

"We talk to CENTCOM all the time", he said.

However, the Republican leader played down the potential for military conflict in the region, saying he believed Iran did not want a confrontation with the U.S.

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.

Could the USA and Iran be headed for war?

Earlier this month, the administration of President Donald Trump announced the deployment of an aircraft carrier task force as well as B-52 bombers, an amphibious assault ship and a missile defense battery to the Gulf. Two U.S. officials said that Iran has removed cruise missiles from two civilian dhows that posed a risk to U.S. Navy ships, commercial ships and land targets.