Approximately 900 US troops have been deployed or are in the process of deploying to the Middle East to enhance US force protection in the region, Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder confirmed on Thursday, as reported by CNN.
“These include forces that have been on prepare to deploy orders, and which are deploying from the continental United States,” Ryder said. “Deployed and deploying units include a Terminal 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 also noted that these deploying units are not destined for Israel but are meant to support regional deterrence efforts and reinforce US force protection capabilities. The Pentagon had previously announced the deployment of the THAAD and Patriot batteries.
Amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, the United States aims to convey a strong message to potential adversaries to prevent the further escalation of the conflict in the region.
Additionally, there have been reports that the US has intelligence indicating Iranian-backed militia groups are planning to increase their attacks against US forces in the Middle East. This follows Iran’s attempt to capitalize on the regional backlash against American support for Israel.