Pentagon deploys more than 3K additional troops to Middle East

Pentagon deploys more than 3K additional troops to Middle East
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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.

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Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoFired State Department watchdog says Pompeo aide attempted to 'bully' him over investigations Ousted watchdog says he told top State aides about Pompeo probe 7 GOP senators slam State Dept for 'slow and inefficient policy' on passports MORE has said the action, which was ordered by President TrumpDonald John TrumpFormer employees critique EPA under Trump in new report Fired State Department watchdog says Pompeo aide attempted to 'bully' him over investigations Virginia senator calls for Barr to resign over order to clear protests MORE, was in response to "imminent threats" to American lives.

Trump tweeted that Soleimani "should have been taken out many years ago!"

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 EsperTrump: 'I don't think we'll have to' send military to cities House chairman presses Pentagon leaders on use of military against DC protesters Overnight Defense: Pentagon chief says he opposes invoking Insurrection Act for protests | White House dodges on Trump's confidence in Esper | 'Angry and appalled' Mattis scorches Trump MORE to announce the immediate deployment of 750 U.S. troops to the region.

Updated at 3:08 p.m.