Pentagon considering request to send 5,000 troops to Middle East: Officials

Acting US Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan on Thursday confirmed that the Pentagon was considering sending additional troops to the Middle East amid tensions with Iran.
US Air Force and Israeli Air force personnel next to a Patriot missile defence system at the Israeli Air Force Base of Hatzor, Israel, on March 8, 2018.
US Air Force and Israeli Air force personnel next to a Patriot missile defence system at the Israeli Air Force Base of Hatzor, Israel, on March 8, 2018.PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The United States Department of Defence is considering a US military request to send about 5,000 additional troops to the Middle East amid increasing tensions with Iran, two US officials told Reuters on Wednesday (May 22).

The officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the request had been made by US Central Command but added that it was not clear whether the Pentagon would approve the request.

The Pentagon regularly receives, and declines, requests from combatant commands throughout the world for additional resources.

One of the officials said the requested troops would be defensive in nature.