Some 750 U.S. Army paratroopers were deployed to Kuwait yesterday (Dec. 31, 2019) after 6,000 Iran-backed Shiite militiamen stormed the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq and set fire to the compound while chanting “Death to America!”
While the soldiers deployed yesterday are stationed in Kuwait for now, as many as 4,000 U.S. troops could be sent to neighboring areas in the Middle East in the coming days.
The 4,000 soldiers from the Army’s 82nd Airborne Deployment-Ready Brigade have been put on notice for imminent deployment, defense officials told Fox News.
There were no American casualties during the Baghdad embassy attack, thanks to the 100 Marines who defended the compound after it came under siege.
In a statement, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the deployment is a cautionary step to protect Americans in the area.
“I have authorized the deployment of an infantry battalion from the Immediate Response Force (IRF) of the 82nd Airborne Division to the U.S. Central Command area of operations in response to recent events in Iraq.
Approximately 750 soldiers will deploy to the region immediately, and additional forces from the IRF are prepared to deploy over the next several days.
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. The United States will protect our people and interests anywhere they are found around the world.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the embassy attack an act of “state-sponsored terrorism,” while President Donald Trump vowed that he will hold the Iranian government “fully responsible” for the siege.
President Trump briefly spoke to reporters hours after the attack as he was on his way to attend the annual New Year’s Eve party at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. He commended the Marines who secured the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.
Trump said this incident would not be another Benghazi — a reference to the deadly 2012 embassy attack in Libya that happened under then-President Barack Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The Benghazi attack left four Americans dead, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.
President Trump said: “The Marines came in. We had some great warriors come in. They did a fantastic job. They were there instantaneously, as soon as we heard [about the embassy attack]. They came immediately. This will not be another Benghazi. Benghazi never should have happened. This will never, ever be a Benghazi. As soon as we saw there was a potential for a problem, they got in.”
(Source: Fox News)
In a New Year’s Eve tweet, President Trump promised to hold Iran responsible for their actions.
Trump tweeted: “Iran will be held fully responsible for lives lost, or damage incurred, at any of our facilities. They will pay a very BIG PRICE! This is not a Warning, it is a Threat. Happy New Year!”
….Iran will be held fully responsible for lives lost, or damage incurred, at any of our facilities. They will pay a very BIG PRICE! This is not a Warning, it is a Threat. Happy New Year!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 31, 2019
Iran has increased its defense budget 145% under President Hassan Rouhani and has been using the billions of dollars that were unfrozen under Obama’s disastrous Iran nuclear deal to build up its weapons stockpile.
In the lopsided agreement, Obama lifted economic sanctions that had crippled Iran financially for decades, unfroze $150 billion in assets, and gave Iran $400 million in cash.
In April 2017, Iranian military leaders bragged to local newspapers that the Islamic Republic’s army was being fortified into an “offensive juggernaut.”
These kinds of terrible decisions are why former Obama officials say his wimpiness against foreign adversaries left the world a more dangerous place.
“Obama had the capability, but not the will [to retaliate against our enemies],” said Barry Pavel, a former senior director on the National Security Council. “Obama left a more dangerous world.”
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