The Pentagon said Monday it was sending about 1,000 more troops, reconnaissance aircraft and missile defense units to the Middle East, the latest U.S. military response to growing tensions with Iran.
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said the additional forces were being deployed “for defensive purposes to address air, naval and ground-based threats.”
The decision comes five days after the Trump administration blamed Iran for powerful explosions that crippled two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. U.S. officials said other intelligence indicated that Iranian forces were conducting low-level attacks against shipping and other targets.
Iran has repeatedly denied any involvement in the attacks.
The Pentagon released color photos Monday taken from a Navy helicopter of a gaping hole above the waterline of the Kokuka Courageous, one of the stricken tankers, which it says was caused by a magnetic mine.