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900 troops deploying to Middle East from US

In response to the Hamas terrorist attacks on Israel on October 7, 2023, the U.S. military conducted two airstrikes against targets in Syria.
Miguel Ortiz Avatar
us troops deploying to middle east
(U.S. Air Force)

Since the Hamas terrorist attacks on Israel on October 7, 2023, tensions in the Middle East have escalated. Israel Defense Forces are engaged with Hamas in and around the Gaza Strip as well as with Hezbollah along the Israel-Lebanon border. Additionally, Iranian-backed Houthi rebels fired missiles and flew drones from Yemen, “potentially toward targets in Israel,” which were intercepted by the destroyer USS Carney (DDG-64), according to the Pentagon. Moreover, Iranian-backed militias in eastern Syria launched at least 16 rocket and drone attacks U.S. bases in Iraq and Syria, resulting in 19 diagnosed TBIs and two other minor casualties. In response, the U.S. military conducted two airstrikes against targets in Syria.

The Avenger system provides short-range air defense with Stinger missiles
The Avenger system provides short-range air defense with Stinger missiles (U.S. Army)

As a major show of force, the U.S. sent two carrier strike groups to the Middle East to deter further escalation by Iran and its proxies. Additionally, on October 26, 2023, the Pentagon reported deploying approximately 900 troops from the continental U.S. to the Middle East. “I won’t talk specific deployment locations for these forces, I can confirm that they are not going to Israel,” said Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder. Some of these additional forces were previously placed on a prepare-to-deploy status and are now in the process of deploying to the U.S. Central Command area of operations.

The THAAD’s missile can intercept targets up to 200km away
The THAAD’s missile can intercept targets up to 200km away (Missile Defense Agency)

Indicating the defensive nature of the deployment, the units called up include air defense units: 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 air defense headquarters elements from Fort Bliss and Fort Cavazos, Texas. Contrasting the deployment of 900 troops, an 82nd Airborne battalion of 750 troops was previously deployed to the Middle East in response to the December 2019 storming of the U.S. embassy compound in Baghdad by Iranian-backed Shiite militiamen.

KC-135s deployed to an undisclosed location in the Middle East
KC-135s deployed to an undisclosed location in the Middle East (U.S. Air Force)

Supporting the air mission in the Middle East, KC-135 Stratotankers assigned to Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, and F-16 Fighting Falcons from the New Jersey Air National Guard’s 119th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron also deployed to undisclosed locations in the Middle East. Supporting Israel more directly, the Pentagon confirmed that two U.S. Iron Dome systems will be sent to Israel to augment the nation’s air defense system. “Since [the] Hamas terrorist attack, we’ve also been crystal clear that we do not want to see the situation in Israel [widen] into a broader regional conflict,” Ryder said. “…Our message to any country or group thinking about trying to take advantage of this situation to widen the conflict is: Don’t.”