The Trump administration is currently considering a significant expansion of the US military presence in the Middle East, including dozens of more vessels and other military hardware and as many as 14,000 additional servicemen to allegedly counter Iran, US officials said, cited by The Wall Street Journal.
According to the sources, cited by the WSJ, US President Donald Trump is reportedly expected to make a decision on the new deployments later in December. According to the US Officials, Trump is reportedly convinced of the need to counter the alleged threat his aides say the Islamic Republic purportedly poses. According to the media report, the US president could, however, also approve a smaller US contingent for the deployment to the Middle East.
US Officials told the WSJ that there is growing fear among US military and the Trump administration that a possible attack on US forces could leave Washington with only a few options in the region and the new deployment could present a more credible deterrent to Tehran.
Following the US’ unilateral withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Actions (JCPOA), also known as Iran nuclear deal, in 2018, and reinstatement of the tough economic sanctions against Tehran, the relations between two nations started worsening rapidly prompting additional tension in the Middle East.
The situation exacerbated further after two major Saudi oil refineries were attacked by Drones on 14 September. Despite Houthi rebels have claimed the responsibility for the attack, the US subsequently blamed Iran for the incident. Tehran has, however, denied any wrongdoing or involvement.
Following the September attack the Pentagon has reinforced its presence in the Middle East and ordered additional troops deployment to Saudi Arabia. Trump has repeatedly pointed out, as a pretext, that Iran allegedly continued to threaten regional security.