The United States announced Friday the deployment of 1,500 additional troops in the Middle East, citing “persistent threats” against US forces emanating from the “highest level” of the that denounced this “threat” to international peace.
“We are going to send a relatively small number of troops, mostly preventative, and some very talented people are going to the Middle East right now,” Donald Trump said from the White House.
“It will be about 1,500 people,” said the US president before flying to Japan.
“The increase of the American presence in our region is very dangerous and constitutes a threat to the international peace and security that must be faced,” said Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.
US reinforcements are meant to “improve the protection and security of US forces, given persistent threats from Iran, including Revolutionary Guards and their supporters,” Pentagon chief Patrick said. Shanahan in a statement. “This is a cautious response to credible threats from Iran.”
Meanwhile, the Trump administration also informed the Congress on Friday of new arms sales to Saudi Arabia, Iran’s major regional foe, and to the United Arab Emirates, citing the Iranian threat to circumvent the possibility available to them. parliamentarians to block this type of contract.
Washington’s deployment included a battalion of 600 men in charge of four Patriot missile batteries that were already in the area but needed to be redeployed elsewhere.
Their stay in the region, for an indefinite period and on bases that have not been identified, brings to 900 only the reinforcements sent to the region, told the press Admiral Michael Gilday, an official of the American staff.
Reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft and a squadron of 12 fighters will reinforce the device.
The Pentagon’s Deputy Secretary for International Security, Katie Wheelbarger, said the additional deployment did not involve Syria or Iraq, where Washington is continuing its operations against the Islamic State (IS) group.
The US Central Command (Centcom), in charge of the Middle East and part of Central Asia has 70,000 soldiers, of whom 14,000 are deployed in Afghanistan, 5,20Iranian governmen0 in Iraq and less than 2,000 in Syria.
The additional staff will be sent from bases in the United States to the Middle East, but not to conflict zones.
– “In no case provocative” –
Admiral Gilday said the attacks on several oil tankers off the port of Fujairah (United Arab Emirates) were led by the Iranian government.
He also accused the body of the Revolutionary Guards, the ideological army of the Iranian regime, of “attempting to deploy modified dhows capable of launching cruise missiles” into the Gulf and to be responsible for firing a gun. rocket the Green Zone in Baghdad, which hosts the US Embassy.
“We are absolutely convinced that this is coming from the Iranian leadership at the highest level, and all the attacks I mentioned have been attributed to Iran, through pro-Iranian militias or their own forces.” , did he declare.
He also mentioned “multiple and credible reports that pro-Iranian militias intend to attack US servicemen in the Middle East”.
Once again, the Pentagon assured that the reinforcement of the US military presence in the Middle East was purely defensive.
“With this highly measured deployment and through our public discourse, we are trying to emphasize that we are not trying to trigger hostilities with Iran,” said Admiral Gilday. This deployment “is by no means provocative”.
The announcement comes as relations already strained between Washington and Tehran have escalated since the beginning of the month: Iran has suspended some of its commitments made under the 2015 agreement on its nuclear program, a year after US withdrawal from this text, while the Trump administration has tightened its sanctions against the Iranian economy.
The Pentagon has already dispatched an aircraft carrier, a warship, B-52 bombers and a Patriot missile battery to the region in the region, the White House’s national security advisor, John Bolton, citing “indications disturbing climbing “from Tehran.