Nearly 900 US troops have been deployed or are deploying to the Middle East amid rising tensions in the region after a series of attacks on coalition bases resulted in minor injuries to nearly two dozen soldiers.
Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Pat Rader told reporters Thursday. “Deployed and deployed units include a High Altitude Area Defense Battery from Fort Bliss, Texas, Patriot batteries from Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Patriot and Avenger batteries from Fort Liberty, North Carolina, and associated air defense headquarters elements from Fort Bliss and Fort Cavazos, Texas.
Ryder added that the deployment units will not go to Israel and that they “aim to support regional deterrence efforts and enhance the capabilities of protecting American forces.”
Pentagon Previously announced Deployment of THAAD and Patriot batteries.
As the war between Israel and Hamas continues, the United States seeks to send a strong message to adversaries to prevent the conflict from spreading more widely in the region.
CNN reported The United States has intelligence that Iranian-backed militias are planning to intensify attacks against American forces in the Middle East, as Iran seeks to take advantage of the violent reaction in the region to American support for Israel.
Ryder said Thursday that between Oct. 17y And 26yUS and coalition forces were attacked “at least 12 separate times in Iraq, and four separate times in Syria, with a combination of attack drones and missiles in one direction.”
CNN reported Wednesday that 21 U.S. service members suffered minor injuries as a result of the attacks that occurred Oct. 17-18. Of those, 19 — 15 at Al Asad Air Base in Syria, and four at Al Tanf Garrison in Iraq — were diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries, Ryder said.
He added that everyone has since returned to duty, and there have been “no injuries or cases of traumatic brain injury since October 17 and 18.”
Ryder said that the attack that took place on Thursday targeted Erbil Air Base and was “unsuccessful” and resulted in no casualties and “some minor damage to infrastructure.”
Thursday’s announcement comes after the Pentagon placed nearly 2,000 US troops on standby for deployment orders last week, which Pentagon Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh said focused on providing “air defense, security, logistics, medical services, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.” Transport support.
This is in addition to US forces already in Iraq and Syria – approximately 2,500 and 900 soldiers, respectively – and naval assets announced to be heading to the region. The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group is directed to the Middle East, and the USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group is currently in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Asked Thursday to explain the delay in responding to attacks on US forces, Ryder said the US military reserves the “inherent right to defend our forces and we will take all necessary measures to protect our forces and interests abroad.”
He added: “With regard to these groups, we know once again that these are militias supported by Iran and supported by Iran, and of course we hold Iran responsible for these groups.”
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