President Donald Trump ordered the deployment of an additional 1,500 troops to the Middle East on Friday, to counter Iran in the region.
The president said the new troops will provide protection for the existing forces in the area.
“We want to have protection,” he said. “We’re going to be sending a relatively small number of troops, mostly protective, and some very talented people are going to the Middle East right now, and we’ll see what happens.
“I don’t think Iran wants to fight, and I certainly don’t think they want to fight with us,” he added.
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan approved a request from Central Command (CENTCOM) for additional resources to protect from the “threat posed by Iranian forces, including the IRGC and its proxies.” CENTCOM oversees U.S. military operations in the Middle East.
Additional resources are also expected to be moved, including additional Patriot missile batteries and a Patriot battalion to defend against missile threats, additional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft, an engineer unit and a fighter aircraft squadron. CENTCOM also requested manned and unmanned aircraft for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance to monitor the movement of Iranian forces.
As a matter of fact, the director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Rear Admiral Michael Gilday told reporters at the Pentagon that Iran has already attacked.
“We learned through intelligence they have acted upon those threats and they have actually attacked,” Gilday said, explaining it was the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps that was responsible for the May 12 attack on four oil tankers at a port in the United Arab Emirates.