Trump denies US weighing sending more troops to Mideast
US President Donald Trump on Friday denied a report that his country was weighing sending more than 12,000 troops to the Middle East in the face of a perceived threat from Iran.
“The story today that we are sending 12,000 troops to Saudi Arabia is false or, to put it more accurately, Fake News!” Trump wrote in a tweet.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the possible deployment would include “dozens” more ships and double the number of troops added to the US force in the region since the beginning of this year, citing unnamed US officials.
The paper said Trump could make a decision on the troop boost as early as this month.
The Pentagon had denied the report on Wednesday, saying that “To be clear, the reporting is wrong. The US is not considering sending 14,000 additional troops to the Middle East.”
A series of attacks on shipping vessels and attacks on two Saudi oil installations in September that were blamed on Iran have led to increased tensions in the region. The US has already ramped up its military presence in the Gulf and tightened economic sanction on Tehran, further elevating tensions across the region.