WASHINGTON, June 17 (KUNA) -- US Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan on Monday authorized sending approximately 1,000 additional troops to the Middle East "for defensive purposes to address air, naval and ground-based threats."
In a statement, Shanahan said he made the decision "in response to a request from the US Central Command for additional forces, and with the advice of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and in consultation with the White House."
"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," he pointed out.
"The United States does not seek conflict with Iran. The action today is being taken to ensure the safety and welfare of our military personnel working throughout the region and to protect our national interests," Shanahan affirmed.
"We will continue to monitor the situation diligently and make adjustments to force levels as necessary given intelligence reporting and credible threats," he stressed.
The Department of State has earlier announced that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will visit, tomorrow, Tuesday, the US Central Command and the US Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, where he will meet with Gen. Kenneth McKenzie - commander of Central Command and Gen. Richard Clarke - commander of Special Operations Command, "to discuss regional security concerns and ongoing operations." (end)