U.S. will send force package of some 1,500 troops to Middle East to counter Iran

U.S. will send force package of some 1,500 troops to Middle East to counter Iran
Live fire exercise, Patriot missile battery from 108th ADA Bde. Red Legs rule. CENTCOM video (A1C Eric Mann), YouTube

[Ed. – This isn’t an infantry deployment. It’s a fighter squadron (Air Force Mag says the unit hasn’t been identified), Patriot batteries, surveillance aircraft and military engineers to beef up protection in the region.  It does come with a formal announcement about Iran being behind the attacks on oil tankers and Saudi infrastructure, as well as confirmation of the Iranian intent to deploy missiles on civilian shipping (dhows, which operate in local waters).]

The U.S. will send hundreds of additional troops and a dozen fighter jets to the Middle East in the coming weeks to counter what the Pentagon said is an escalating campaign by Iran to plan attacks against the U.S. and its interests in the region. And for the first time, Pentagon officials on Friday publicly blamed Iran and its proxies for recent tanker bombings near United Arab Emirates and a rocket attack in Iraq.

President Donald Trump told reporters Friday that the 1,500 troops would have a “mostly protective” role as part of a build-up that began this month in response to what the U.S said was a threat from Iran, without providing details or evidence. …

The deployments announced Friday include a squadron of 12 fighter jets, manned and unmanned surveillance aircraft, and a number of military engineers to beef up protection for forces. In addition a battalion of four Patriot missile batteries that were scheduled to leave the Middle East has been ordered to stay. The total number of troops involved is about 1,500, with roughly 600 included in the Patriot battalion.

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