US to Send 1,000 Additional Troops to the Middle East Citing Iran 'Threats'

Shanahan, 56, was thrust into the role in an acting capacity in January after then Defense Secretary Jim Mattis abruptly resigned over policy differences with Trump.

Washington: Acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan announced on Monday the deployment of about 1,000 more troops to the Middle East for what he said were "defensive purposes," citing concerns about a threat from Iran.

"The recent Iranian attacks validate the reliable, credible intelligence we have received on hostile behaviour by Iranian forces and their proxy groups that threaten United States personnel and interests across the region," Shanahan said in a statement.

The United States' concerns about a threat to US forces and interests in the region have increased steadily in recent weeks, particularly after the attacks on two oil tankers at the entrance to the Gulf on Thursday.

The United States last week released a video which, it said, showed Iran's Revolutionary Guard were behind Thursday's attacks near the Strait of Hormuz on the Norwegian-owned Front Altair, which was set ablaze, and the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous.

The US military released additional imagery on Monday. "Iran is responsible for the attack based on video evidence and the resources and proficiency needed to quickly remove the unexploded limpet mine," Central Command said in a statement.

Iran strongly denies the accusations.