Published: Sat, December 07, 2019

Pentagon: Reports of 14K troop increase in Mideast 'flat out wrong'

Pentagon: Reports of 14K troop increase in Mideast 'flat out wrong'

Such a deployment would include "dozens" more ships and double the number of troops added to the U.S. force in the region since the beginning of this year, the Journal said, citing unidentified USA officials.

Asked about a possible troop increase on Thursday, Trump told reporters: 'We'll announce whether we will or not.

On Wednesday, the Journal reported that the increase came in part at the behest of the Israeli government.

The press secretary's reiteration of this precise number of troops means both statements can be true: The Pentagon does not have plans to send 14,000 troops, but they also are constantly evaluating their "force posture".

President Donald Trump is expected to make a decision on the new deployments as soon as this month, the United States daily said citing an American official.

According to the sources, cited by the United States broadcaster, Defence Secretary Mark Esper has "not made any decision" but the plan reportedly envisages the deployment of up to 7,000 additional soldiers to the Middle East to counter what they claim to be an alleged threat from Tehran.

The denial from the Pentagon marks the third time the agency has sought to refute a Wall Street Journal report indicating that the United States was considering doubling the number of troops sent to counter Iran's military activity.


Top members of the military and some administration officials fear that an Iranian attack on military interests in the region could leave the USA with few options. "But he's sending more troops to the Middle East, making yet another war there more likely".

On Thursday, during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, John Rood, the Pentagon's senior policy official, contradicted Farah when he said the Pentagon is considering sending additional troops to CENTCOM. Sen.

Tensions have risen sharply with Iran since President Donald Trump past year pulled out of a denuclearization pact and imposed sweeping sanctions, including trying to block all its oil exports. Tehran has denied being behind the attacks. The newspaper says the missiles pose a threat to Israel and Saudi Arabia, and could endanger United States troops.

'We're lucky no one has been killed.

Among the incidents, five rockets hit the Al-Asad Air Base on Tuesday, just four days after US Vice President Mike Pence visited US troops there.

The region has seen a series of attacks on shipping vessels and a drone and missile attack on Saudi oil installations in September blamed on Iran.

The unrest, which began on November 15 after the government abruptly raised fuel prices by as much as 300 percent, spread to more than 100 cities and towns and turned political as young and working-class protesters demanded clerical leaders step down.

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