Pentagon Sends 1,000 More Troops to Middle East

By Faye Higbee

The Pentagon sends 1,000 more troops to the Middle East after the attacks on tankers last week, and several rockets launched at areas where US troops are housed. They’ve released photos to bolster the US claim that Iran was behind the attacks. All of this comes as Katyusha rockets not only hit the green Zone in Baghdad, but now also at Camp Taji, and an Iraqi air base where US trainers are based.

This is the view of the remnants of a removed limpet mine’s placement, location, and damage sustained from a limpet mine attack, on the starboard side of motor vessel M/T Kokuka Courageous, while operating in the Gulf of Oman, June 13. A limpet mine is attached to a vessel via magnet and/or nails. The holes seen were created by nails used to hold the mine in place. (CENTCOM)
This image released by the U.S. Department of Defense on Monday, June 17, 2019, is a view of hull penetration/blast damage on the starboard side of the motor vessel M/T Kokuka Courageous, which the Navy says was sustained from a limpet mine attack while operating in the Gulf of Oman, on June 13th. (U.S. Department of Defense)
pentagon sends
Imagery taken from a U.S. Navy MH-60R helicopter of blast damage to M/T Kokuka Courageous. M/V Kokuka Courageous received damage consistent with a limpet mine attack in the Gulf of Oman, June 13.

[All captions are sourced from Military Times.]

Tankers to Rockets

Iran’s nefarious activity has not just included attacks on tankers in the Gulf, they have increased land-based attacks as well. We previously wrote about the Katyusha rockets that were shot into Baghdad’s green zone near the US Embassy. But Iraqi officials stated that late Monday, three rockets hit Camp Taji, where US trainers are based. Another rocket attack just after midnight Saturday morning at an Iraqi air base caused a fire. American trainers are also housed at the air base.

Katyusha rockets are Russian made, and are in frequent use by Iran-backed terror groups like Hezbollah.

There were no casualties in the rocket attack on Monday, or the one on Saturday. One house in the Jadriyah neighborhood in Baghdad received significant damage from a mortar shell on Friday. But it is a significant escalation, and the reason more troops are being sent to
bolster security.

According to Military Times, the deployment includes “security forces and troops for additional surveillance and intelligence gathering in the region.

The troops are part of a broader military package of options that were initially laid out to U.S. leaders late last month, totaling as much as 10,000 forces, Patriot missile batteries, aircraft and ships.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to meet with US Military officials from CENTCOM and SOCOM at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa. He has recently worked to convince our Asian and European allies that Iran has been behind the recent attacks.

Iran has denied any involvement and called the attacks “suspicious.”

Featured photo of Iranian Revolutionary Guard vessel after the crew removed a limpet mine from the Courageous. (CENTCOM)