Washington – The United States is sending troops to the Middle East in response to government officials threatening a possible attack by Iran or Allied militants on American troops in the region. White House National Security Advisor John Bolton said in a statement on Sunday evening that the US is stationing the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force in the US Central Command Region, an area encompassing the Middle East ,
Bolton said the move was a response to "a series of disturbing and escalating clues and warnings". He gave no details, but said the US wanted to send a "clear and unambiguous" message to Iran that "relentless forces" would make any attack on the interests of the US or its allies.
"The United States is not seeking war with the Iranian regime, but we are ready to respond to any attack, be it by deputies, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps or regular Iranian troops," he said.
A Defense Department official told CBS News Pentagon correspondent David Martin that the US had discovered "a number of preparations for a possible attack" on US troops at sea and on land.
"… There is more than one attack or one possible attack we are pursuing," said the official. "… We've been seeing clues for a few days now, but they've come together in the last few days … … that has developed pretty fast today (Sunday)."
The official said the decision to order the operation was taken on Sunday.
The Pentagon had no direct official opinion on the Bolton Declaration.
Last month, President Trump announced that the US would no longer exempt countries from US sanctions if they continue to buy Iranian oil, a decision that is mainly affected by the remaining five main importers: China and India and the states parties US, Japan, South Korea and Turkey should stop Iran's oil exports.
Since then, Martin reports, US intelligence has underpinned the "chatter" over Iran of Shia militias in Iraq who are attacking Americans. There are 5,200 US troops in Iraq. US intelligence analysts said the Iranian government seemed to debate whether the issue of oil sanctions could be solved through diplomacy.
The Abraham Lincoln and its strike group of ships and fighters were recently deployed in the Mediterranean
Bolton's reference to the Central Command area would mean that the Lincoln would head east to the Red Sea and then perhaps to the Arabian Sea or go to the Persian Gulf. The US Navy currently has no aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf.
Bolton's mention of the deployment of a bomber task force suggests that the Pentagon is stationing land-based bombers somewhere in the region, perhaps on the Arabian Peninsula.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US action had been in the works for a short time.
"It is absolutely the case that we have seen Iranian escalation actions, and that is alike." the case that we will hold the Iranians responsible for attacks on US interests, "Pompeo said." If these actions take place, if they are carried out by a third party representative, a Hezbollah militia group, we will directly support the Iranian leadership
Asked about "escalation actions," Pompeo replied, "I do not want to talk about what's underneath, but do not make a mistake. We have a good reason to want to communicate clearly how the Iranians should understand how we will respond to possible measures. "
Asked if the Iranian measures were taken in connection with the deadly events in Gaza and Israel – On Sunday, fighters fired rockets at Israel, and Israel responded with air strikes – Pompeo said:" It's different. " The Trump government has intensified a pressure campaign against Iran.
In addition to the US sanctions step, last month Washington also labeled Iran's Revolutionary Guard a terrorist group, the first time it ever targeted a whole department of another Trump retreated from the Obama Administration's main nuclear deal with Iran in May 2018 and again imposed criminal sanctions in the months that followed, including those aimed at Iran's oil, shipping and banking sectors. 19659003] Bolton and Pompeo have been talking violently about Iran over the last few months, and their "evil activities" in de r region.