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Additional troops are headed to the Middle East in response to attack on US Embassy in Iraq

AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP via Getty Images

The Department of Defense announced Tuesday night that an additional 750 troops would be promptly deployed to the Middle East in response to Tuesday's attack on the United States Embassy in Iraq, and that another 3,000 were preparing for possible deployment in coming days.

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper issued a written statement, saying, "This deployment is an appropriate and precautionary action taken in response to increased threat levels against U.S. personnel and facilities, such as we witnessed in Baghdad today." According to the statement, the deployment was ordered by President Donald Trump, who has placed blame for the attack squarely on the Iranian government.

Overall, an additional 14,000 troops have been deployed to the Middle East since May 2019 in response to Iranian aggression in the area.

Esper's statement indicated that the infantry battalion of the 82nd Airborne Division based out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina, would be immediately deployed to the region. A Defense Department official told the Associated Press that the troops will be deployed to Kuwait.

Although the Iranian-backed protesters threw Molotov cocktails and other objects at the embassy, no United States personnel were killed or seriously injured in the attack. Marines were deployed from Kuwait to the embassy in order to maintain order during the unrest.

The protesters were incensed at fatalities caused during U.S. airstrikes targeting Iranian-backed Kataeb Hezbollah militia sites. The airstrikes were themselves a response to a Kataeb Hezbollah rocket attack that killed an American contractor in Iraq.

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