The US will immediately send about 750 troops to the Middle East, following an attack by pro-Iranian protesters on the US embassy in Baghdad, the Pentagon announced on Tuesday.

“This deployment is an appropriate and precautionary action taken in response to increased threat levels against US personnel and facilities, such as we witnessed in Baghdad today,” US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said in a statement.

“The United States will protect our people and interests anywhere they are found around the world,” Esper added.

The troops are expected to deploy in the next few days. Esper said in a tweet that the troops were being deployed at the “direct command” of US President Donald Trump.

The 750 soldiers who are being deployed immediately will join 14,000 US military personnel currently stationed in the Gulf region. Esper also added that the full 82nd Airborne quick-deployment brigade could deploy, around 4,000 soldiers in all.

More to follow…

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ed/se (dpa, AFP, AP)

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