WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- The US is preparing to send 1,000 additional troops to the Middle East while tensions between the U.S. and Iran rise.
- The move came after an attack on two oil tankers happened last week in the Gulf of Oman, which the Trump administration blamed on Tehran.
- After the US said there were credible threats by Iran against U.S. forces in the area, the U.S. accelerated the deployment of the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier strike group to the Middle East and also sent B-52 bombers.
The United States is preparing to send 1,000 additional troops to the Middle East while tensions between the U.S. and Iran increase. The move came after last week’s attack on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman which the Trump administration blamed on Tehran.
On Monday, the Pentagon released new images that according to officials show Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) members removing an unexploded mine from one of the tanker’s hulls.
“In response to a request from the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) for additional forces, and with the advice of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and in consultation with the White House, I have authorized approximately 1,000 additional troops for defensive purposes to address air, naval, and ground-based threats in the Middle East,” Patrick Shanahan, the acting Defense Secretary said on Monday.
A U.S. official told ABC News that additional personnel is mostly part of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and force protection units.
After the US said there were credible threats by Iran against U.S. forces in the area, the U.S. accelerated the deployment of the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier strike group to the Middle East and also sent B-52 bombers. The U.S. has also sent an additional 1,500 troops and strengthened defensive capabilities to continue to help deter Iran.
“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 a 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. We will continue to monitor the situation diligently and make adjustments to force levels as necessary given intelligence reporting and credible threats,” the statement continued.
CENTCOM reported that Iran attempted to shoot down a U.S. drone that was making surveillance on the attack on one of two tankers. The attempt missed the MQ-9 Reaper by “approximately one kilometer.”
The U.S. has also put the blame on Iran for an attack on four commercial vessels off the coast of the United Arab Emirates in May.
Source: ABC News