(January 3, 2020 / JNS) The United States plans to send an additional 3,500 troops to the Middle East following the U.S. elimination on Thursday of the head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force, Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, reported NBC News on Friday.
The outlet reported that the new forces are being deployed to Iraq, Kuwait and other parts of the region.
U.S. defense officials told NBC News that the measure isn’t a direct course of action following Soleimani’s death, but rather a continuation of an announcement earlier this week to send additional troops to the Mideast.
The U.S. sent an additional 750 troops to Kuwait this week amid the Iranian threat. They are members of the 82nd Airborne Division.
There are currently between 60,000 and 70,000 U.S. troops in the region.
In the aftermath of Soleimani’s assassination in a vehicle at Baghdad Airport, the U.S. State Department has called for U.S. citizens to evacuate Iraq.
On Tuesday, a mob of Iraqi Shi’ite militiamen and their supporters broke into the U.S. embassy compound in Baghdad. The attack came after the United States launched airstrikes on Sunday against the Iran-backed Hezbollah Brigades in Iraq.
Two Iraqi foreign ministry officials told Reuters that the U.S. ambassador and other staff in Baghdad were evacuated from the embassy. One official said that a few embassy protection staff remained.
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