UN sources believe that the United States is planning to carry out a “tactical assault on Iran” in response to the attack on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.
President Trump is sending 1,000 additional US troops to the Middle East, amid rising tensions between the two countries. Several UN officials told the Israeli newspaper Maariv that the US “plans to carry out a tactical assault on Iran in response to the tanker attack in the Persian Gulf on Thursday.”
From ABC News:
The United States is sending 1,000 additional troops to the Middle East, amid rising tensions between the U.S. and Iran. The decision follows last week’s attack on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman that the U.S. blamed on Tehran, with the Pentagon releasing new images on Monday that officials said show Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) members removing an unexploded mine from one of the ship’s hulls.
“In response to a request from the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) for additional forces, and with the advice of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and in consultation with the White House, I have authorized approximately 1,000 additional troops for defensive purposes to address air, naval, and ground-based threats in the Middle East,” acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said in a statement on Monday.
The additional personnel are mostly part of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and force protection units, a U.S. official told ABC News.
Rt.com reports: The officials claimed that the Trump administration has been holding non-stop discussions involving senior military commanders and advisers to President Donald Trump since Friday, the Jerusalem Post reported.
The plan would be for the US to launch an aerial bombardment of an Iranian facility linked to its nuclear program, the officials claims, according to the Post. One Western diplomat reportedly said the bombing will be “massive” but “limited to a specific target.”
The decision to take military action was apparently made before reports emerged that Iran was planning to increase its levels of uranium enrichment in response to heightening tensions with Washington.
The sources said Trump was not enthusiastic about a strike but had lost his patience and succumbed to influence from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who has been pushing for military action.
Pompeo is due to visit US Central Command at the MacDill Air Force Base, in Tampa, Florida, on Tuesday to discuss “regional security concerns and ongoing operations.”
He has repeatedly claimed that Iran is responsible for the attacks on the oil tankers, but has not provided convincing evidence.
German foreign minister Heiko Maas said last week that grainy video offered as evidence by the US was “not enough” to prove Iranian culpability – and the US version of events was challenged by the owner of the Japanese company that owns one of the tankers damaged in the attack.
The US claims of Iranian guilt for the tanker attacks were compared to the fake evidence of WMDs presented by former US Secretary of State Colin Powell before the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
That history should serve as a cautionary tale against rushing into war again, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitri Peskov said on Sunday.