The Pentagon is considering sending several thousand additional troops to the Middle East, AP reported.
John Rood, defense undersecretary for policy, told senators Thursday that Defense Secretary Mark Esper “intends to make changes” to the number of troops deployed in the region.
Other officials said they were considering sending from 5,000 to 7,000 troops to the Middle East, but they all stressed that no final decisions had been made.
President Donald Trump has endorsed the increase, although he also insists on the need to withdraw US troops from the Middle East and put an end to endless wars.
“The single greatest mistake our country made in its history,” he said, “was going into the quicksand of the Middle East.”
Later Thursday, Trump's national security adviser Robert O'Brien said the president was ready to send more troops to the Middle East.
Military leaders argue that the US should increase its presence in the region to deter Iran from conducting larger-scale attacks. Rood did not provide details confirming the need for additional troops, but said the US was concerned about recent intelligence data suggesting an increased threat from Iran.
Pentagon spokeswoman Alyssa Farah sent out a statement categorically refuting the possibility of sending 14,000 troops to the Middle East, noting that Esper told the Senate committee chairman that “we are not considering sending 14,000 additional troops” to the region.