Pentagon says sending 750 US troops to Middle East after embassy storming in Baghdad


Photo: AFP

WASHINGTON, Dec. 31 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said on Tuesday that the United States will deploy about 750 troops immediately to the Middle East, a move taken hours after demonstrators stormed the U.S. Embassy in Iraq.

"Approximately 750 #Soldiers will deploy to the region immediately & additional forces from the IRF are prepared to deploy over the next several days," said the Pentagon chief in a series of tweets on Tuesday evening.

The IRF refers to the Immediate Response Force of the 82nd Airborne Division.

"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," Esper added.

The Pentagon's decision came hours after hundreds of demonstrators, mourning for the Hashd Shaabi members killed by a U.S. attack in Iraq on Sunday, stormed the U.S. embassy in Baghdad's Green Zone.

U.S. President Donald Trump blamed Iran for "orchestrating an attack" on the embassy in a Tuesday morning tweet.