President Donald Trump is sending an additional 1,500 US troops to the Middle East as part of a “mostly protective” effort to deter Iranian threats. Many of the new forces will be engineers to support Patriot missile batteries and reconnaissance aircraft that are being newly deployed. About 600 of the 1,500 troops are part of a “Patriot battalion that’s going to end up being extended, so the number of deploying personnel is really less than a thousand.” The Pentagon later said that the number of boots on the ground will indeed increase by 1,500, explaining that the 600 members of the extended Patriot battalion will be joined by 900 new troops, as well as a Patriot unit that was originally intended to relieve the extended battalion as part of a normal rotation. JUNE 24, 2019
[May 30 2019 Threats from Iran to U.S. forces ]
DUBAI (Reuters) – The United States will respond with military force if its interests are attacked by Iran, U.S. Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook said May 30 2019. “I don’t think this threat is over,” U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton.
MAY 24, 2019 Iran is responsible for at least three recent attacks in the region, including the attacks on oil tankers in Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates, drone attacks on oil pipelines in Saudi Arabia, and rocket attacks on the Green Zone in Baghdad. Navy Vice Adm. Mike Gilday, the director of the Joint Staff said the intelligence indicated the origins of these threats trace back to Iranian leaders at the highest levels.
May 25 2019
Navy Rear Adm. Michael Gilday said that the actual deployment would be about 900 additional troops.
900 plus another 600 troops whose deployment in the region is being extended.
900 troops will operate intelligence surveillance radar and drones.
The deployments announced May 24 2019 include a squadron of 12 fighter jets, manned and unmanned surveillance aircraft, and a number of military engineers to beef up protection for forces. In addition a battalion of four Patriot missile batteries that were scheduled to leave the Middle East has been ordered to stay. The total number of troops involved is about 1,500, with roughly 600 included in the Patriot battalion.
[May 23 2019]
There will be a meeting at the White House on May 23 2019 where a Central Command request will be considered. 5,000 to 10,000 additional troops may be sent to the Middle East to deter Iran.
The U.S. official said that defensive capabilities and weapons systems are being requested, and the number of additional forces will depend on which capabilities are approved.
The CENTCOM request has been in the works for some time, the U.S. official said.
[May 22 2019]
The U.S. removed Patriot missile batteries from Bahrain, Kuwait and Jordan late last year. It was not clear if the battery would go back to one of those countries. LOLITA C. BALDOR[AP] May 10, 2019. The U.S. State Department cleared a possible foreign military sale of the Raytheon-made Patriot air and missile defense system to Bahrain. Congress was notified of the sale May 3. It must approve the sale, and quantity of items. .Jen Judson [Defense News] May 3 2019.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The U.S. Navy says it has conducted exercises in the Arabian Sea with an aircraft carrier strike group ordered to the Persian Gulf to counter an alleged, unspecified threat from Iran.
“If you make threats and then people decide you aren’t going to follow through, if you’re looking for the reaction and you stop getting the reaction, the options are either to make larger threats, or to stop going down that road at all,” said Jon Alterman, Middle East Program director at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
By Karen DeYoung, Liz Sly and Josh Dawsey | Washington Post
The USS Abraham Lincoln and its carrier strike group have yet to reach the Strait of Hormuz, Sat 18 May 2019 09.20 EDT. Abraham Carrier Strike Group, which has been operating off the coast of Oman, MAY 17, 2019 / 11:13 AM Four B-52 bombers were being deployed to the Middle East. Two of the bombers left May 7 2019 from Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, arriving at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar on May 8 ,MAY 7, 2019 / 12:15 PM / CBS/AP
The Times report said overhead imagery had captured Iranian paramilitaries arming small boats in the Persian Gulf with fully assembled missiles, prompting fears they might be used to attack American ships in the region. Images showed the boats—believed to be under the control of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps—being armed at several ports, raising concerns of imminent attack or that the weapons would be transferred to regional Iranian proxies for use in more deniable operations.
The U.S. State Department has ordered the pullout of the employees from both the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and its consulate in Erbil, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said on May 14 2019 he was getting indications from talks with both the United States and Iran that “things will end well.”
[May 14 2019 ]
“Recent comments from OIR’s Deputy Commander run counter to the identified credible threats available to intelligence from U.S. and allies regarding Iranian backed forces in the region,” said Capt. Bill Urban, CENTCOM’s lead spokesman. “U.S. Central Command, in coordination with Operation Inherent Resolve, has increased the force posture level for all service members assigned to OIR in Iraq and Syria.”
“It’s going to be a bad problem for Iran if something happens,” Trump told reporters Monday, May 13 2019. An updated version of a destabilizing cyberwarfare operation is called “Nitro Zeus,” which would target Iran’s power grid and military. Some officials reportedly said the plan was updated in past years. The number of troops deployed to the Middle East would be close to the roughly 130,600 service members deployed to Iraq in 2003.
The deployment of B-52H Stratofortress bombers, 20th Bomb Squadron, as well as a Patriot missile battery, aircraft carrier strike group and amphibious transport dock, come after the Pentagon said it received “clear indications” of threats from Iran to U.S. forces in the Middle East through Iranian military and proxy forces.
“No, there’s been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria,” British Maj. Gen. Chris Ghika, May 14 2019.
Israel passed information on an alleged Iranian plot to attack U.S. interests in the Gulf to the U.S. before national security adviser John Bolton threatened Iran with “unrelenting force” May 5 2019.
[ December 1 2015 Thanksgiving meal Nov. 26, 2015 at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar ]
Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work shows off his turkey carving skills Thanksgiving Day at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, November 26. The deputy defense secretary thanked service members as he served them their Thanksgiving meal.
Koussa is expected in the Qatari capital of Doha on Wednesday where an international conference on the future of Libya is being held with representatives from the Benghazi-based opposition.
Travel of Undersecretary for Political Affairs, William J. Burns
Office of the Spokesman
April 11, 2011
Undersecretary for Political Affairs, William J. Burns will travel to Doha, Qatar, for the meeting of the Contact Group on Libya April 12-13. He will be accompanied by Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Philip H. Gordon and Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman