President Donald Trump ordered more troops to the Middle East as the Pentagon blamed Tehran for recent attacks in the region, yet the small scale of the U.S. move signaled a desire to avoid a further escalation of tensions between the two nations.
The U.S. will bolster forces in the region by about 1,500 troops, though Trump and the Pentagon said that the deployment is for defensive purposes with a focus on missile defense, surveillance and keeping open shipping lanes in the Persian Gulf. About 600 of the troops are already in the region, meaning fewer than 1,000 new service members will deploy.
“We’re going to be sending a relatively small number of troops to the Middle East,” Trump said as he departed the White House on Friday for Japan. The troops will serve “mostly in a protective capacity,” Trump said, adding, “We’ll see what happens.” Read more