The Department of Defense is planning new deployments that would increase the number of U.S. military personnel in the Middle East to more than 80K as tensions in the region escalate after the death of Iran's top general early Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday.
Roughly 200 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team members will join other 10K soldiers, Marines and sailors who have been reassigned to the region amid tension between the U.S. and Iran.
The Pentagon also plans to deploy six B-52 bomber aircraft in the coming days as Iranian officials seek to retaliate for the killing of Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani, the report noted.
U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper, a 2019 Wash100 awardee, told reporters Monday the U.S. will “follow the rules of armed conflict” and avoid military strikes on cultural sites.
Esper made the remarks after President Donald Trump said the country would target 52 locations in Iran, including those of cultural significance.