The Pentagon is reportedly considering sending thousands more troops to the Middle East.
According to The Associated Press, Pentagon officials are scheduled to present plans to the White House on Thursday "to send up to 10,000 more troops to the Middle East." Officials told AP Wednesday nothing has been finalized, and that it’s still up in the air if the White House would approve the request. They added that the move is aimed at boosting defenses in the region, particularly around Iran, but not because of any new threats from the country. They also said the Pentagon is seeking additional Patriot missile defense systems, as well as more ships as part of its proposal.
Tensions between the U.S. and Iran started ramping up several weeks ago. The U.S. has accused Iran of mobilizing proxy groups to target American forces in Iraq and Syria, among other things. Although President Donald Trump refuted reports that the U.S. planned to send troops to the Middle East in response, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently told CNBC the administration was working on some kind of plan "in the event that the Iranians make a bad decision."
Acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan defended recent actions the U.S. has taken in the region to members of Congress on Tuesday, saying the moves were "about deterrence, not about war."
Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.