The United States is sending 1,000 additional troops to the Middle East, amid rising tensions between the U.S. and Iran, the Pentagon announced Monday.
“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,” acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said in a statement.
“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.
The US defence secretary is again insisting that Washington does not want conflict with Tehran, but tensions remain high and any miscalculation could lead to a serious escalation.
“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.
“Americans must have no illusions about the Iranian regime, and must remain committed to holding Iran accountable for its dangerous activities in the region. But we must be strong, smart and strategic — not reckless and rash — in how to proceed,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement. “The Congress must be immediately briefed on the Administration’s decisions and plans”
“This deeply concerning decision may escalate the situation with Iran and risk serious miscalculations on either side. Diplomacy is needed to defuse tensions, therefore America must continue to consult with our allies so that we do not make the region less safe,” the statement added.