* President Trump has pledged to pull the U.S. out of ‘endless wars’ and has succeeded in a few troop drawdowns
* But the Pentagon says it will send as many as 7,000 troops back to the Middle East in a major deployment meant to check Iranian aggression
* Iran is blamed for a series of maritime attacks and bombings in Saudi Arabia
* ‘If there is a threat, it will be met very strongly,’ the president said Thursday
The United States said Thursday it was considering deploying fresh forces to counter the strategic threat Iran poses in the Middle East, with an official saying some 5,000 to 7,000 troops could head to the region.
Testifying before Congress, John Rood, the under secretary of defense for policy, said that the United States was ‘observing Iran’s behavior with concern.’
‘We’re continuing to look at that threat picture and have the ability to dynamically adjust our force posture,’ Rood told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
The troop deliberations follow several decisions since spring to beef up the U.S. presence in the Middle East because of a series of maritime attacks and bombings in Saudi Arabia that the U.S. and others have blamed on Iran.
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WNU Editor: The Pentagon may be drawing up plans, but President Trump continues to say no …. Donald Trump says story ‘12,000’ troops will deploy to Saudi Arabia is ‘fake news’ and blasts ‘anonymous sources’ after unnamed Pentagon officials claimed he’s sending either 14,000 or 7,000 to counter Iran (Daily Mail).
Trump admin: More US troops may be headed for Middle East — MSNBC
Pentagon mulls sending up to 7,000 additional forces to Middle East, officials say — FOX News
US considers sending thousands more troops to Middle East to deter Iran — CNN