US to deploy thousands of additional troops to Middle East

Source: REUTERS/Jim Bourg

The US will deploy thousands of additional troops to the Middle East as tensions with Iran mount following the airstrike that killed Qasem Soleimani, a US defense official told CNN.

The additional troops will come from the Immediate Response Force of the 82nd Airborne Division. CNN has previously reported that these forces had been placed on prepare-to-deploy orders and would be sent to the region if the situation merited it.

Following the disturbance at the US embassy in Baghdad, the US deployed 750 troops from the same unit and said that additional deployments were possible.

The new deployment will encompass the rest of the brigade, typically about 3,000 soldiers.

UN secretary-general is “deeply concerned” about escalations in the Gulf

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres is “deeply concerned” with the escalation in the Gulf region, according to a statement today from his spokesperson.

“The Secretary-General has consistently advocated for de-escalation in the Gulf,” said Farhan Haq, deputy spokesperson for the secretary-general.

“He is deeply concerned with the recent escalation.”

Haq added: “This is a moment in which leaders must exercise maximum restraint. The world cannot afford another war in the Gulf.”

Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps calls Soleimani killing an act of “revenge”

Brigadier General Ramazan Sharif, spokesman for Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), said the killing of General Qasem Soleimani was America's “revenge” after Soleimani defeated ISIS.

In an interview with Iranian state-funded Press TV, Sharif said that “was a major blow to the US investments and the investments by their allies.”

“And the downfall of Daesh (ISIS) harmed the Americans so they were after taking revenge from General Soleimani for this failure that they experienced,” he said.

Sharif also referenced the downing of a US drone by Iran in June, “so two major defeats for the Americans and this showed that the Islamic Republic of Iran has major capacities for punishing the Americans and taking revenge from them.”

Sharif warned of Soleimani's killing, “Americans should await anger and wrath by the resistance front that is extended through the world of Islam.”

The spokesman concluded: “In an optimistic perspective, I can tell you that there was great developed hatred towards Americans in Iraq and this martyr has increased the Iraqi people's hatred toward Americans and that will eventually lead to the withdrawal of Americans from West Asia.”