The US Departament of Defence is considering a military request to send additional 5000 personnel to the Middle East as tensions rise between Tehran and Washington, two U.S. officials told Reuters on Wednesday.
A war of threats has been escalating between Iran and the United States this month following president Trump's decision to cut Iran's oil exports and build up military capacities in the Persian Gulf in response to what he said were Iranian threats.
The officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the request had been made by U.S. Central Command, but added that it was not clear whether the Pentagon would approve the request. One of the officials said the requested troops would be defensive in nature.
It is unclear if any specific request will ultimately be presented to the White House. The request for 5,000 additional troops was first reported by Reuters.
“As a matter of longstanding policy, we are not going to discuss or speculate on potential future plans and requests for forces,” Commander Rebecca Rebarich, a Pentagon spokeswoman, said on Wednesday.
The U.S. military accelerated the deployment of a carrier strike group to the Middle East, and sent bombers and Patriot missiles to the region earlier this month in response to what Washington said were troubling indications of possible preparations for an attack by Iran.