The Pentagon announced the deployment of an additional 300 U.S. troops Tuesday to strengthen U.S. Central Command in the Middle East.
Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, a Pentagon spokesman, told reporters Tuesday, “We will not discuss specific deployment locations for these forces, but I can confirm they’re not going to Israel and that they are intended to support regional deterrence efforts and further bolster U.S. force protection capabilities.”
The deployment of additional U.S. troops to the Middle East comes as attacks by terrorist groups in the region against U.S. military bases, particularly in Iraq and Syria, have continued to persist. Ryder noted that the Department of Defense had recorded 27 total attacks since Oct. 17. Of the 27 attacks against U.S. forces in the Middle East, 16 have occurred in Iraq, and 11 have occurred in Syria.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin explained last week that the attacks against U.S. forces resulted in 21 service members sustaining “minor injuries.” Nineteen of the U.S. service members received traumatic brain injuries, according to The Daily Wire.
Last Thursday, the United States conducted “self-defense strikes” against two locations affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in retaliation for the persistent attacks against U.S. forces.
During his remarks on Tuesday, Ryder noted that the more recent attacks against U.S. forces in the Middle East have not resulted in any injuries or damage to U.S. bases.
The additional 300 troops being deployed to the Middle East are expected to strengthen the position of the United States in a region that is experiencing increased tension as the war between Israel and Hamas continues.
“These additional troops will provide capabilities in explosive ordnance disposal, communications, and other support enablers for forces already in the region,” Ryder stated.
The additional 300 troops being sent to the Middle East are part of 2,000 troops that were given “prepare to deploy orders” by the Pentagon on Oct. 17.
While the United States has sent the USS Gerald R. Ford strike group, the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower strike group, a Marine expeditionary force, and additional aircraft to the Middle East in a show of support for Israel and a deterrence for Iran or additional nations and terrorist groups from escalating the current conflict between Israel and Hamas, the Pentagon has claimed that the attacks against U.S. forces and the deployment of the additional 300 troops are not related to the Israel and Hamas conflict, according to Military.com.
“Our forces are in Iraq and Syria for one purpose — which is the enduring defeat of ISIS… This is separate and distinct from the situation in Israel,” Ryder said.