US sending thousands of additional troops to Middle East: Pentagon

Press TV – The Pentagon has announced that the United States is sending at least 3,000 additional troops to the Middle East after the US assassination of Iranian Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani.

Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), were killed in US airstrikes in the Iraqi capital Baghdad early on Friday. The US strike took place at the Baghdad International Airport, killing eight other people.

The Pentagon said US President Donald Trump had ordered Soleimani’s assassination.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei promised “severe revenge” for the death of the military commander. Ayatollah Khamenei said the “cruelest people on earth” assassinated the “honorable” commander who “courageously fought for years against the evils and bandits of the world.”

In Washington, a Pentagon official said on Friday that 3,000 to 3,500 troops from the 82nd Airborne Division’s Global Response Force will be deployed in the Middle East region.

“The brigade will deploy to Kuwait as an appropriate and precautionary action in response to increased threat levels against US personnel and facilities,” the Pentagon official said.

Earlier this week, American officials told Reuters that thousands of additional troops could be deployed to the region.

The United States has already sent about 14,000 additional troops to the Middle East since May.

On Tuesday, the US embassy was evacuated after thousands of angry Iraqi demonstrators gathered outside the gates of the compound to condemn Washington’s fatal military aggression that targeted Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) on Sunday.

On Monday, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi condemned the “unacceptable vicious assault” by the US that killed more than two dozen Iraqis and injured scores more.

Thousands of angry protests managed to reach the US diplomatic mission which is located in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, chanting “Death to America” and burning US flags.

The protesters further held up signs calling for the US mission to be shut down and for the parliament to order US forces to leave Iraq.