(CNN) — Roughly 900 US troops have deployed or are deploying to the Middle East to bolster US force protection in the region, Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said Thursday.
“These include forces that have been on prepare to deploy orders, and which are deploying from the continental United States,” Ryder said. “Deployed and deploying units include a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense battery from Fort Bliss Texas, Patriot batteries from Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Patriot and Avenger batteries from Fort Liberty, North Carolina, and associated air defense headquarters elements from Fort Bliss and Fort Cavazos, Texas.”
Ryder added that the deploying units would not be going to Israel and are “intended to support regional deterrence efforts and further bolster US force protection capabilities.” The Pentagon previously announced the deployment of the THAAD and Patriot batteries.
As the war between Israel and Hamas continues, the US is seeking to send a strong message to adversaries to prevent the conflict spreading more widely in the region.
CNN has reported that US has intelligence that Iranian-backed militia groups are planning to ramp up attacks against US forces in the Middle East, as Iran seeks to capitalize on the backlash in the region to American support for Israel.