US deploys thousands of additional troops to Middle East following Soleimani killing

A helicopter takes off from a US military base at an undisclosed location in eastern Syria, Monday, Nov. 11, 2019. AP image

The US is deploying thousands of additional troops to the Middle East as tensions with Iran mount following the...

Posted: Jan 3, 2020 1:44 PM
Updated: Jan 4, 2020 11:00 AM

The US is deploying thousands of additional troops to the Middle East as tensions with Iran mount following the airstrike that killed Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani.

The additional troops -- about 2,800 soldiers -- are from the Immediate Response Force of the 82nd Airborne Division in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. A US defense official told CNN on Friday that the move was expected, and the Pentagon later confirmed the deployment in a statement provided to CNN.

CNN previously reported that the forces had been placed on prepare-to-deploy orders and would be sent to the region if the situation merited it.

Following the disturbance at the US Embassy in Baghdad earlier this week, the US deployed 750 troops from the unit and said that additional deployments were possible. The latest deployment sends the rest of the brigade to the Middle East, putting the number of US service members deployed there this week close to 3,500.

The additional soldiers will first head to Kuwait, and then military leaders will decide where they are needed.

'This deployment was an anticipated and expected outcome when they were placed on notice,' Lt Col. Mike Burns, spokesman for the 82nd Airborne Division, said in a statement. 'The brigade will deploy to Kuwait as an appropriate and precautionary action in response to increased threat levels against U.S. personnel and facilities in the region.'

The US also recently reinforced the embassy in the Iraqi capital with a contingent of US Marines from a crisis response task force based in Kuwait.

In a dramatic escalation amid tensions between the two countries, the Pentagon confirmed Thursday that the US killed Soleimani, the leader of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, in a drone strike on Baghdad International airport ordered by President Donald Trump.

The force protection levels for all US military forces in the Central Command area of operations had been increased in the last 24 hours, according to two US defense officials.

The level was raised from Force Protection level 'Bravo' to 'Charlie,' which applies 'when a terrorist or hostile act incident occurs within the commander's area of interest or intelligence is received indicating a hostile act, some form of terrorist action or targeting DoD elements, personnel, or facilities.'

The US had intelligence that Soleimani was in multiple countries in the region, planning specific attacks on US interests, including US personnel, a congressional source briefed by the Trump administration told CNN.

Intelligence showed Soleimani was in Baghdad following Tuesday's embassy attack to plan future hits on US targets with Iranian proxy forces, a senior administration official told CNN.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told CNN Friday that the strike was carried out to disrupt an 'imminent' attack in the region.

The deployment comes amid threats from the Iranian government of a 'harsh revenge' for the killing of Soleimani.

Another senior administration official told CNN that counter terrorism officials are already on the lookout for possible retaliatory actions from Iran and the regime's various options for reprisal attacks against the US.

Pompeo told CNN that the US, under Trump's direct guidance, has prepared for all possible responses from Iran and is ready to 'respond if that's what's required to keep Americans safe.'

This story has been updated with additional developments Saturday.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 676505

Reported Deaths: 8049
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1396591852
Ramsey58216942
Dakota51771493
Anoka47702478
Washington30460309
Stearns24688240
St. Louis20106335
Scott19489144
Wright18332163
Olmsted15650110
Sherburne13375100
Carver1198951
Clay905895
Rice9047119
Blue Earth857947
Crow Wing7723101
Kandiyohi740988
Chisago706157
Otter Tail660990
Benton638799
Mower551838
Winona549552
Goodhue546180
Douglas530084
Itasca512870
Beltrami496972
Steele496321
McLeod495262
Isanti487170
Morrison463862
Nobles445450
Polk428275
Becker427459
Freeborn426438
Lyon390654
Carlton387259
Nicollet371947
Pine371526
Mille Lacs351760
Brown343543
Cass340335
Le Sueur337929
Todd318334
Meeker301749
Waseca286025
Martin259033
Wabasha23984
Dodge23833
Roseau229723
Hubbard226841
Houston201616
Renville198247
Redwood195641
Fillmore190710
Pennington188421
Wadena182723
Faribault177625
Cottonwood175824
Sibley173910
Chippewa169839
Kanabec163529
Watonwan153911
Aitkin153838
Rock137919
Jackson134112
Pope12858
Pipestone124126
Yellow Medicine123820
Swift116419
Murray114810
Koochiching113019
Stevens104611
Marshall100918
Clearwater100218
Lake90721
Wilkin89014
Lac qui Parle84624
Big Stone6724
Grant6628
Mahnomen6629
Lincoln6424
Norman6319
Kittson53122
Unassigned53093
Red Lake4667
Traverse4205
Lake of the Woods3814
Cook2060

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 426400

Reported Deaths: 6339
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk67341672
Linn25698353
Scott22828261
Black Hawk19121334
Woodbury16940233
Johnson1659690
Dubuque14547218
Pottawattamie13058183
Dallas12746102
Story1187148
Warren685993
Webster6304102
Cerro Gordo6212102
Clinton620097
Des Moines594482
Muscatine5781108
Marshall564280
Sioux542775
Jasper516575
Lee511078
Wapello4993128
Buena Vista472942
Marion449083
Plymouth434083
Henry339940
Jones331158
Bremer325365
Crawford321644
Carroll317053
Washington315754
Benton312656
Boone308736
Mahaska275453
Dickinson270846
Kossuth251471
Jackson246044
Clay245729
Tama238273
Delaware234643
Buchanan233938
Hardin230847
Page221624
Cedar220525
Fayette220345
Wright217641
Winneshiek215937
Hamilton211752
Harrison198875
Clayton194458
Madison193820
Butler188836
Floyd187742
Mills185224
Poweshiek181036
Cherokee179440
Iowa176425
Allamakee176252
Lyon174441
Jefferson169138
Calhoun168313
Hancock167335
Winnebago164231
Grundy158835
Cass155556
Louisa154949
Shelby151739
Appanoose151249
Emmet149541
Franklin148524
Humboldt147226
Sac144722
Union144237
Mitchell141643
Guthrie138132
Chickasaw137518
Palo Alto131124
Clarke125024
Montgomery122239
Keokuk116232
Howard115622
Monroe114033
Ida107538
Davis103125
Pocahontas99023
Greene98012
Adair95334
Monona94733
Lucas94523
Worth9268
Osceola83717
Decatur74510
Fremont74111
Taylor72412
Van Buren70919
Wayne65123
Ringgold62226
Audubon58414
Adams3914
Unassigned190
Rochester
Partly Cloudy
71° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 71°
Mason City
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 70°
Albert Lea
Partly Cloudy
72° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 72°
Austin
Partly Cloudy
72° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 72°
Charles City
Partly Cloudy
72° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 72°
A windy Thursday
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Sean's Weather 9/16

Image

Kid vaccine update

Image

Redistricting changes in Minnesota

Image

Rochester riverfront

Image

"Legends" building recommended for landmark status despite advice of experts, staff

Image

Southeastern Minnesota town experiences business boom

Image

Aaron's Wednesday Night Weather (9/15/21)

Image

Landmark status recommended for former Legends site

Image

20 new businesses open in Lanesboro

Image

Riverland Community College celebrates Welcoming America Week

Community Events