President Donald Trump denied a New York Times report that his administration is planning to send as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East in the event of hostilities with Iran, but said he’d send “a hell of a lot more” if war breaks out.
“I think it’s fake news, OK?” Trump said of the Times report. “Now would I do that? Absolutely. But I have not planned for that. If we did that, we’d send a hell of a lot more troops than that.”
Tensions are rising with the Islamic Republic after the Trump administration revoked waivers this month that allowed Iran to continue selling oil to some customers despite U.S. sanctions. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates reported on Monday mysterious attacks on several vessels including oil tankers in the Persian Gulf, and the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen claimed on Tuesday they had damaged Saudi oil pumping stations on Tuesday using drones.
Trump warned Iran against provocations yesterday. “If they do anything, it will be a very bad mistake,” he told reporters in the Oval Office.
The Times reported that the president’s top national security aides met on Thursday to discuss updated war plans with Iran. The plans envision sending as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East should Iran attack American forces or accelerate work on nuclear weapons, the Times said.
The Times said the plans do not call for a land invasion of Iran, which would require many more troops.
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