Pentagon Mulling Military Request to Send 5,000 Troops to Middle East

Saudi Arabia and other GCC countries have reportedly approved a request from Washington to deploy US military forces on their territories and in the Gulf Waters.

DESPARDES News Monitor — The U.S. Department of Defense is considering a U.S. military request to send about 5,000 additional troops to the Middle East amid increasing tensions with Iran, two U.S. officials told Reuters on Wednesday.

The officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the request had been made by U.S. Central Command, but added that it was not clear whether the Pentagon would approve the request.

Trump has warned that Iran would be met with “great force” if it attacked U.S. interests in the Middle East.

An report said Saudi Arabia and other GCC countries have approved a request from Washington to deploy  US military forces  on their territories and in the Gulf Waters.

London-based Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper said the approval was based on bilateral agreements between the USA and the GCC countries.

“The main aim is to deter Iran from any aggression against its neighbors or the US vital interests in the region”, said the newspaper, quoting unnamed Arab diplomatic sources.

The sources said the US military deployment aims to embark on joint military action between Washington and other GCC capitals to deter any attempt of military escalation rather than enter a war against Iran.

Arab countries are reportedly stepping up contacts to hold a mini-Arab summit on the sidelines of the Islamic summit, which will be held during the last ten days of Ramadan in Makkah, Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia will host the 14th session of the OIC’s Islamic Summit in Makkah on May 31.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi will be in Saudi Arabia on May 27-28 for ministerial meetings ahead of the Islamic Summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the Foreign Office said on Thursday, paving the way for Prime Minister Imran Khan’s trip to the Kingdom to attend the summit on May 31.

The summit, according to the Saudi Press Agency, is titled “Makkah Summit: Together for the Future” and aims to develop a unified stance on events in the Islamic world.

Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesman Dr. Mohammed Faisal confirmed to media that Mr. Khan would be participating in the summit, and was expected to address members of the forum.