Washington, Jan 1 (GCCurrentAffairs) US Defense Secretary Mark Esper has said that the country will deploy about 750 troops immediately to the Middle East, following the recent attack of pro-Iranian protesters on the US embassy in Baghdad.
“Approximately 750 #Soldiers will deploy to the region immediately & additional forces from the IRF are prepared to deploy over the next several days,” said the Pentagon chief in a series of tweets on Tuesday evening.
According to Esper, at the direction of President Donald Trump, the Pentagon authorized the deployment of an infantry battalion from the Immediate Response Force (IRF).
“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,” Esper added.
The Pentagon’s decision came hours after hundreds of demonstrators, mourning for the Hashd Shaabi members killed by a US attack in Iraq on Sunday, stormed the US embassy in Baghdad’s Green Zone.
The protests come after the Pentagon said on Sunday it carried out “defensive strikes” against five Kata’ib Hezbollah facilities in Iraq and Syria in retaliation for the Iranian-backed group’s attack on a US base near the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk that left one US defense contractor dead and four US soldiers wounded on Friday.
Meanwhile, Trump has said that the US Embassy in Iraq was safe despite being attacked by pro-Iranian protesters and warned that Tehran would be held fully responsible for any damage caused to any US facilities.
He also blamed Iran for “orchestrating an attack” on the embassy in his Tuesday morning’s tweet.
However, Iran denied Trump’s accusation that it had somehow orchestrated the incident, condemning the “audacity” of the claim.