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US To Send Over 1,500 Troops Along With Drones Send Fighter Jets To Middle East

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U.S. officials say the Trump administration has notified Congress it plans to send 1,500 troops to the Middle East amid heightened tensions with Iran. Officials said members of Congress were notified following a White House meeting Thursday to discuss Pentagon proposals to bolster the U.S. force presence in the Middle East. The officials spoke Friday on condition of anonymity because the troop plans have not yet been formally announced.

Earlier this week, officials had said that Pentagon planners had outlined plans that could have sent up to 10,000 military reinforcements to the region. Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan later said planners hadn’t settled on a figure.

WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 11: Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten, Patrick M. Shanahan, Acting U.S. Secretary of Defense, and Secretary of the Air Force Heather A. Wilson are seen before a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on April 11, 2019 in Washington, DC. The acting defense secretary is pitching the idea of creating a Space Force as a separate branch of the military to Congress. (Photo by Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images)

The U.S. began reinforcing its presence in the Persian Gulf region this month in response to what it said was a threat from Iran.

Additionally, the U.S. designated Iran’s Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist group. Iran responded with threats to close the Gulf’s Strait of Hormuz, where about a third of the world’s oil export vessels pass. The U.S. then announced it was expediting the deployment of a carrier strike group equipped with bomber aircraft to the region.

Tehran announced it was relaxing some restrictions on its nuclear program but would not violate a 2015 accord with Russia, China, Britain, France, Germany and the United States. Iran had agreed to the 2015 limits on its disputed nuclear program in return for sanctions relief.

A year ago Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, calling it a “horrible, one-sided” deal.

Source: Fox 5 DC & CNBC

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