US sends 3,000 more army troops to Middle East
The United States is sending 3,000 more army troops to the Middle East as reinforcements after the killing of Iranian Commander Qasem Soleimani in a strike ordered by President Donald Trump. They are in addition to about 700 soldiers who were deployed in Kuwait earlier this week after the storming of the United States Embassy compound in Baghdad by Iran-backed militiamen and their supporters.
Prior to this week’s deployments, Trump administration had sent 14,000 additional troops to the Mideast since May, when it first publicly claimed Iran is planning attacks on US interests. The strike marked a major escalation in the conflict between Washington and Iran, as Iran vowed harsh retaliation for the killing of the senior military leader.
US President Donald Trump has said the execution of Iranian Commander Qasem Soleimani by US military was aimed to stop a war and not to start a war. He said Qassem was plotting attacks on US diplomats and military personnel before he was killed.
The United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo defended the strike as wholly lawful, saying that Soleimani posed an imminent threat against the United States and its interests in the region. Pompeo called world leaders yesterday to explain and defend Trump’s decision to order the airstrike.
The United States and Iran have faced repeated crises since Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal and imposed crippling sanctions. The United States urged its citizens to leave Iraq immediately as fears mounted that the strike and any retaliation by Iran could ignite a conflict that engulfs the region.