More than 3,000 American troops will be sent to the Middle East following the U.S. strike that killed top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Iraq, the Pentagon said Friday.
The troops will that will be deployed are from the Immediate Response Force of the 82nd Airborne Division, a Defense Department official told The Hill.
Iran has vowed "harsh revenge" for the killing of Soleimani. The Quds Force leader died Thursday in an airstrike at Baghdad International Airport alongside Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of the Iranian-backed Iraqi militia Popular Mobilization Forces.
Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoNo time for the timid: The dual threats of progressives and Trump Psaki: Sexism contributes to some criticism of Harris Mnuchin, Pompeo mulled plan to remove Trump after Jan. 6: book MORE has said the action, which was ordered by President TrumpDonald TrumpStowaway found in landing gear of plane after flight from Guatemala to Miami Kushner looking to Middle East for investors in new firm: report GOP eyes booting Democrats from seats if House flips MORE, was in response to "imminent threats" to American lives.
Trump tweeted that Soleimani "should have been taken out many years ago!"
....of PROTESTERS killed in Iran itself. While Iran will never be able to properly admit it, Soleimani was both hated and feared within the country. They are not nearly as saddened as the leaders will let the outside world believe. He should have been taken out many years ago!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2020
Thursday's airstrike marks a major escalation in tensions between Washington and Tehran after a militia backed by Iran and its supporters stormed the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad on Tuesday. That assault prompted Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperOvernight Defense & National Security — Presented by Boeing — Major Russia weapons test stokes tensions Three key behind-the-scenes figures in Jan. 6 probe Trump Defense chief blocked idea to send 250,000 troops to border: report MORE to announce the immediate deployment of 750 U.S. troops to the region.
Updated at 3:08 p.m.