WASHINGTON – Roughly 900 more US troops are deploying to the Middle East in response to the Hamas-Israel conflict, as American forces in Iraq on Thursday suffered yet another attack by an Iranian proxy group, Pentagon spokesman Air Force Gen. Patrick Ryder said.The troops, some of whom had previously been placed on “prepare to deploy” status, began arriving in the region on Thursday, while others are readying to depart in the coming hours and days, Ryder said. “The Department (of Defense) remains squarely focused on supporting Israel’s defense needs in the wake of Hamas terrorist attacks, deterring a broader regional conflict and ensuring force protection for our troops serving in the region,” he said.Ryder did not say where in the Middle East the troops will be deployed, but specified that they will not be sent into Israel.The 900 service members include a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense battery from Fort Bliss, Texas; Patriot missile system batteries from Fort Sill, Okla. and Fort Liberty, N.C.; Avenger air-defense system batteries from Fort Liberty; and “associated air-defense headquarters elements” from Fort Bliss and Fort Cavazos, Texas, according to Ryder.The announcement came a day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed he would delay his country’s pending ground offensive into Gaza to allow the US time to position missile defenses to protect against a predicted uptick in Iran-backed terror attacks on American troops in the regionThe US is racing to deploy more than 10 air-defense systems to protect service members stationed in Iraq, Syria, Kuwait, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates from missile and rocket attacks, defense officials have said.While defense officials expect aggression against US forces in the Middle East to ramp up after Israel launches its ground offensive, there has already been a disturbing rise in attacks on American troops in Iraq and Syria in recent weeks.“What we’re seeing here is in Iraq and Syria, where our forces are there as part of the defeat-ISIS mission, these groups – many of which are long standing in that region – are conducting these attacks against US forces,” Ryder said.That trend continued Thursday with an unnamed Iran-backed terrorist group launching yet another attack on US forces stationed at Erbill Airbase in Iraq on Thursday, Ryder said.“I would tell you that between Oct. 17 and 26, US and coalition forces have been attacked at least 12 separate times in Iraq (and) four separate times in Syria by a mix of one-way attack drones and rockets,” Ryder said. “Again, we will continue to revise those numbers as new information comes in.”Ryder described Thursday’s attack at Erbil Air Base as “unsuccessful” and said there were “no significant injuries or damage” sustained. However, more than 20 American troops have been hurt in previous attacks since Oct. 17, including some who suffered traumatic brain injuries. While none have been killed, a US contractor died of a heart attack on Oct. 18 while taking cover from a suspected incoming drone attack on al-Asad Airbase in Iraq.
27 Ekim 2023 - 01:35
Pentagon deploys 900 more troops to Middle East in response to Israel-Hamas war
“The Department (of Defense) remains squarely focused on supporting Israel’s defense needs in the wake of Hamas terrorist attacks, deterring a broader regional conflict and ensuring for…
27 Ekim 2023 - 01:35