Earlier, US Central Command chief Gen. Frank McKenzie claimed an Iranian attack on US forces could still be ‘imminent’, and requested that additional troops be brought to the region to complement the carrier group, strategic bombers, additional troops, Patriot missiles and amphibious landing equipment already recently deployed there.
The Trump administration made the decision to ‘Ok’ a major beefing up of the US’ military presence in the Middle East after the attacks on four oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates last month, Acting Assistant Secretary of Defence for International Security Affairs Kathryn Wheelbarger has apparently suggested.
“What we saw was more akin to a campaign against us than typical Iranian malign behaviour,” Wheelbarger said, speaking at an event hosted by the Al-Monitor online newspaper on Tuesday.
“When we had evidence that the maritime threat had been operationalised, we became concerned that the other threats would be operationalised, specifically against our forces in the region,” the official added.
Wheelbarger and Al-Monitor did not clarify how the US could have made the decision to deploy the carrier group and additional troops and equipment to the Middle East after the alleged sabotage attack on the oil tankers off the UAE coast, which took place on May 12, given that Washington announced that it would be sending the USS Abraham Lincoln and several escort ships to the…