US deploys 3,500 troops in the Middle East following Soleimani killing

The US is deploying thousands of additional troops to the Middle East as tensions with Iran mount following the airstrike that killed Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani.

Donald Trump is sending 3,500 troops to the Middle East in retaliation to threats after the US President took responsibility for a shocking assassination.

Defence and military officials have said the additional troops — about 2,800 soldiers — from the 82nd Airborne Division will be deployed from Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

The additional soldiers will first head to Kuwait, and then military leaders will decide where they are needed.

“This deployment was an anticipated and expected outcome when they were placed on notice,” Lt Col. Mike Burns, spokesman for the 82nd Airborne Division, said in a statement. “The brigade will deploy to Kuwait as an appropriate and precautionary action in response to increased threat levels against U.S. personnel and facilities in the region.”

The US also recently reinforced the embassy in the Iraqi capital with a contingent of US Marines from a crisis response task force based in Kuwait.

The drama unfolds after President Trump called for the attack on Soleimani after claims that he was plotting against American diplomats in Iraq. He blamed Iran for a protest in Iraq which saw demonstrators break into the US embassy in Baghdad and torch the place.

Soleimani is said to be Iran’s second most powerful figure and the leader of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.

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