U.S. Defense officials and a U.S. Military official confirmed on Friday that about 3,000 soldiers will be sent to the Middle East. 

This news comes just after the storming of the American Embassy in Bagdad and the assassination of Qasem Soleimani, general of Iran’s Quds Force. 

The attack on the embassy came as a result of mourning crowds gathering after funerals of the victim of Iranians killed in U.S. Airstrike last Sunday. About 25 Kataeb Hezbollah-linked militia fighters were killed in that strike.

Soleimani was killed in another airstrike on Friday. From his Mar-A-Lago resort on Friday, President Trump said, “We caught him in the act and terminated him. His reign of terror is over.” 

The Iranian government has vowed to retaliate in response, and Trump has threatened to attack Iranian cultural sites and impose additional sanctions on the country. 

U.S. Defense officials deny the deployment is in response to the airstrike that killed Soleimani. The Pentagon released in a statement, “The Immediate Response Force (IRF) brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division was alerted to prepare for deployment, and are now being deployed. The brigade will deploy to Kuwait as an appropriate and precautionary action in response to increased threat levels against U.S. personnel and facilities, and will assist in reconstituting the reserve.”

In a statement to CNN, Lt Col. Mike Burns, a spokesperson for the 82nd Airborne Division, said, “This deployment was an anticipated and expected outcome when they were placed on notice.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told CNN that the United States is preparing to “respond if that’s what’s required to keep Americans safe,” under President Trump’s orders. 

The 3,000 or so soldiers will approximately about 650 soldiers already employed in the region and will stay there for 60 days. A number of soldiers will be stationed in Iraq while others will stay in Kuwait.

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