US will send 1,500 more troops to Middle East, says Trump
Washington, May 25 (IANS): US President Donald Trump said on Friday that his country will send about 1,500 additional troops to the Middle East amid escalating tension with Iran.
Trump told reporters at the White House that the extra deployment, which is “relatively small number of troops,” is mainly a protective measure, the Xinhau news agency reported.
“We’ll see what happens,” he added.
US Acting Secretary of Defence Patrick Shanahan said later in the day that the Pentagon has informed the Congress about the new move.
Shanahan said in a tweet that he has approved the combatant commander’s request to deploy approximately 1,500 additional troops and defensive capabilities to the Middle East to increase US force protection posture.
“This is a prudent response to credible threats from Iran,” he added in the tweet.
Trump’s decision came one day after he downplayed the likelihood of sending more American troops to the Middle East.
“I don’t think we’re going to need them. I really don’t,” Trump told reporters at the White House.
“I would certainly send troops if we need them,” he added.
Trump also revealed on Thursday that a high-level meeting centreing on Iran would be conducted at the White House later in the day.
Washington and Tehran have been locked in a war of words over the past two weeks amid escalating tension that had been stoked up following America’s military buildup in the Middle East.
Iran has vowed to withstand the US “bullying policies.”