Monday 27 January 2020
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The News - 2 month ago

Pentagon denies mulling over 14,000 more troops for ME

WASHINGTON: The Pentagon on Wednesday denied a report that the United States was weighing sending up to 14,000 more troops to the Middle East in the face of a perceived threat from Iran.The Wall Street Journal reported that the possible deployment would include dozens more ships and double the number of troops added to the US force in the region since the beginning of this year, citing unnamed US officials.The paper said President Donald Trump could make a decision on the troop boost as early as this month. But the Pentagon disputed the accuracy of the report. To be clear, the reporting is wrong. The U.S. is not considering sending 14,000 additional troops to the Middle East, spokeswoman Alyssa Farah tweeted.The region has seen a series of attacks on shipping vessels and a drone and missile attack on Saudi oil installations in September blamed on Iran. Washington has already ratcheted up its military presence in the Gulf and expanded economic sanctions on Tehran, elevating tensions across the region. In mid-November the US aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln sailed through the Strait of Hormuz in a show of force aimed at reassuring allies worried about the Iran threat. In October Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced that two fighter squadrons and additional missile defense batteries were being sent to Saudi Arabia, for a total of about 3,000 new troops.


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