U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday he will send about 1,500 American troops to the Middle East, mostly as a protective measure, amid heightened tensions with Iran.
"We want to have protection in the Middle East. We're going to be sending a relatively small number of troops, mostly protective," Trump said as he left the White House for a trip to Japan.
"Some very talented people are going to the Middle East right now. And we'll see what happens," he said.
U.S. officials told the Associated Press members of Congress were notified following a White House meeting Thursday to discuss Pentagon proposals to bolster the U.S. force presence in the Middle East.
The forces would help strengthen U.S. defenses in the region, two sources told Reuters earlier on condition of anonymity. They said the forces included engineers.
Earlier on Friday, a senior administration official told CNN that Trump has approved the deployment of "additional military resources" to the Gulf. According to the report, the deployment approved by Trump includes Patriot missile batteries, reconnaissance aircraft and forces.
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