U.S. Officers Clarify Why Provider Strike Group Despatched to Center East

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Appearing Protection Secretary Patrick Shanahan mentioned on Monday that he had authorized sending a provider strike group and bombers to the Center East due to indications of a “credible menace by Iranian regime forces.”

U.S. nationwide safety adviser John Bolton mentioned on Sunday that the US was deploying the Abraham Lincoln provider strike group and a bomber activity power to the Center East to ship a message to Iran.

“(It) represents a prudent repositioning of belongings in response to indications of a reputable menace by Iranian regime forces,” Shanahan mentioned on Twitter.

“We name on the Iranian regime to stop all provocation. We’ll maintain the Iranian regime accountable for any assault on US forces or our pursuits,” he added.

Shanahan in his tweet supplied no particulars on the menace.

Three U.S. officers, talking on the situation of anonymity, instructed Reuters on Monday that “a number of, credible threats” picked up by intelligence have been primarily in opposition to U.S. forces in Iraq by Iran and its proxy forces. They mentioned there was additionally concern about U.S. forces in Syria and within the waters close by.

One of many officers mentioned the intelligence was particular sufficient that it detailed the areas of potential assaults in opposition to U.S. forces and the time-frame inside which it may happen. The official added that the menace was not solely in opposition to U.S. forces in Iraq however these coming out and in of the area.

The motion marked the most recent in a sequence of strikes by President Donald Trump’s administration aimed toward ratcheting up strain on Iran in current months.

The Trump administration’s efforts to impose political and financial isolation on Tehran started final yr when it unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear deal it and different world powers negotiated with Iran in 2015.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, talking in Finland the place he was attending the Arctic Council assembly, mentioned on Monday the US has seen exercise from Iran that indicated a potential “escalation,” in the future after the US mentioned it will ship a provider strike group to the Center East to counter a “credible menace by Iranian regime forces.”

There are presently about 5,200 U.S. troops in Iraq and below 2,000 American forces in Syria.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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