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US to maintain 35,000 troops in Gulf region: Hagel

Published on Dec 7, 2013 11:15 AM

MANAMA (AFP) - The US military is committed to maintaining its 35,000-strong force in the Gulf region regardless of a nuclear deal with Iran, Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel said Saturday in Bahrain.

The United States has “more than 35,000 military personnel” in and around the Gulf and “will not make any adjustments to its forces in the region” as a result of the interim accord with Iran, said Mr Hagel, according to a prepared text of a speech.

In a trip designed to reassure Gulf Arab allies worried about America’s diplomatic opening with Iran, Mr Hagel enumerated a list of US weaponry and resources that will remain deployed in the region.

“We have a ground, air, and naval presence of more than 35,000 military personnel in and immediately around the Gulf,” he said, according to the text of the speech he planned to deliver at a security conference in Manama.

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