More US troops requested to deter Iran

U.S. Central Command is requesting additional defensive capabilities that could lead to as many as 5,000 to 10,000 additional troops being sent to the Middle East to deter Iran, a U.S. official told ABC News.

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There will be a meeting at the White House Thursday where the Central Command request will be considered, but it’s unclear if a decision will be made at this White House meeting.

Delil Souleiman/AFP/Getty Images, FILE
A convoy of US forces drive near the village of Yalanli, on the western outskirts of the northern Syrian city of Manbij, March 5, 2017.

The official said that defensive capabilities and weapons systems are being requested.

The CENTCOM request has been in the works for some time, the U.S. official said.

There are currently 60,000 to 80,000 U.S. troops serving in the Middle East.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford briefed the House and Senate Tuesday on President Donald Trump’s Iran strategy, recent intelligence of an increased Iranian threat and the U.S. reaction to it, including the deployment of an aircraft carrier strike group and B-52 bombers and the ordered departure of non-emergency personnel from Iraq.

After hearing from the officials, Democratic lawmakers expressed alarm over the administration’s posture in the Middle East and the possibility of a conflict with Iran.

This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates.

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