Washington is sending 1,000 more US troops to Middle East

This marks the lastest deployments of additional forces to the Gulf region, as US-Iran tensions escalate

United States' Defence Department announced it is deploying 1,000 more US troops to the Middle East "for defensive purposes" amid growing tensions with Iran. Acting Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan said Monday in a statement that the action, meant to address air, naval, and ground-based threats, comes after "a request from the US Central Command (CENTCOM) for additional forces."

The Trump administration has blamed Iran for a series of attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.

"The recent Iranian attacks validate the reliable, credible intelligence we have received on hostile behavior by Iranian forces and their proxy groups that threaten United States personnel and interests across the region," Shanahan said.

The statement did not mention the type of personnel being deployed. Officials, however, told NPR that the troops are primarily intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance (ISR); force protection and engineers.

The announcement is the latest in a series of deployments of additional forces to the Gulf region as the US continues to accuse Iran of attacks on commercial shipping and threats to US troops and interests. The deployments began last month when Washington sent an aircraft carrier strike group to the region along with Patriot missile batteries and several thousand troops whose mission is defensive in nature.

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