Joe Biden is sending an additional 900 troops to the Middle East a week after announcing it was putting 2,000 troops on alert to be ready to deploy
Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said the 900 troops will “further bolster U.S. force protection capabilities” and “include forces that have been on prepare to deploy orders, and which are deploying from the continental United States,”
The news comes following reports of Friday’s airstrike against bases in Syria, where Iran-backed militias stored weapons and ammunition.
Before the strike, 19 separate attacks on U.S. targets had taken place since Oct. 7, when Hamas terrorists launched a surprise attack that killed 1,400 people.
As The Western Journal reported:
On Friday, the 20th attack took place as a one-way drone was shot down near Al-Asad Air Base in Iraq, according to CNN.
On Thursday, Ryder said some of the troops will accompany and operate a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense battery and Patriot missile defense systems that have been sent to the region to protect U.S. bases.
Ryder said the THAAD battery will come from Fort Bliss, Texas. Patriot batteries from Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and additional Patriot and Avenger batteries from Fort Liberty, North Carolina, are headed to the region, he said.
No U.S. forces will be going to Israel, Ryder said.
“Needless to say, we’re going to deploy whatever capabilities we need to be overseas to support our force protection and deterrence efforts,” the Pentagon spokesman said.
“As it relates to these groups and these attacks, again, I’ll just emphasize what I said before, that we will always reserve the right to self-defense, that we will take all necessary actions to ensure that our forces are protected and that our interests overseas are protected,” he said.
The U.S. has been beefing up security for its bases, according to Reuters.
Actions such as increasing patrols, limiting base access and increasing surveillance are all part of the U.S. response to an increasingly hostile environment, said the report, which cited sources it did not name.
Bases are also increasing their preparation to intercept and destroy incoming drones or rockets, the outlet reported
“With the increase in the number of attacks and attempted attacks on U.S. military locations, continuous review of our force protection measures is critical,” Army Gen. Michael “Erik” Kurilla, head of U.S. Central Command, said in a statement to Reuters.
Kurilla said the increased troops and increased security have “prevented more serious casualties of our forces in theater.”
Reuters quoted what it said was a senior defense official as saying the worst of what the U.S. faces may be yet to come.
“We see a prospect for much more significant escalation against U.S. forces and personnel in the near term and let’s be clear about it, the road leads back to Iran,” the official said Monday.
White House spokesman John Kirby said Iran is the force behind the attacks.
“We know Iran continues to support Hamas and Hezbollah,” Kirby said during a news briefing Monday. “And we know that Iran is closely monitoring these events and, in some cases, actively facilitating these attacks and spurring on others who may want to exploit the conflict for their own good or for that of Iran.”
The U.S. has moved one carrier strike group to the eastern Mediterranean and has a second carrier strike group sailing for the Middle East. A Marine unit has had its scheduled training canceled to be ready to deploy, and the Air Force has sent additional aircraft to the region.
On Thursday, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, speaking at the United Nations in New York City, warned that the United States would pay a price if it continued to support Israel in the Jewish state’s battle with Hamas terrorists.
“I say frankly to the American statesmen who are now managing the genocide in Palestine that we do not welcome [an] expansion of the war in the region,” he told the U.N. General Assembly. “But I warn if the genocide in Gaza continues, they will not be spared from this fire.”