Pentagon will present a plan to send up to 10,000 troops to the Middle East in order to enhance protection against potential threats from Iran, AP reported referring to officials.
According to them, the final decision has not yet been made, and it is unclear whether the White House will approve this plan. Officials said that this step is not a response to any new threat from Iran, but is aimed at strengthening security in the region. They stated that they were talking about the deployment of defensive forces, as well as the deployment of the Patriot air defense system, additional ships and increased efforts to monitor Iran.
Earlier, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Trump assesses the position of forces in the region. US officials provided few details about possible Iranian threats, but indicated that they were initially associated with missiles loaded onto small Iranian ships.
Pompeo and Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan told lawmakers that the US is seeking to deter rather than provoke Iran, even accusing Tehran of threatening US interests in the Middle East. Shanahan told reporters, that the US main task at the moment is to prevent Iran’s miscalculations.
However, many in Congress are skeptical about the administration’s approach to Iran, wondering whether it responds to significant new Iranian threats or exacerbates a situation that could lead to war.