A report by the New York Times suggested that the US Acting Defence Secretary offered a military plan to send 120,000 troops to the Middle East amid rising tensions with Iran.
Several plans were allegedly discussed and “the uppermost option called for deploying 120,000 troops, which would take weeks or months to complete,” the Times said.
Siting unnamed officials, the New York Times, claimed that Patrick Shanahan presented the plan at the Donald Trump administration’s Thursday meeting, held to discuss security and defense issues.
The white house didn’t immediately respond to the report. Reuters has also published the news on Tuesday, but could not immediately confirm it.
According to the Time, Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton, CIA Director Gina Haspel, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford were among those attending the meeting.
Tensions are raising between Tehran and Washington since Iran declared that it will re-start part of its nuclear activities.
Commanders of Iranian Revolutionary Guards have been threatening US forces in the region for the past few weeks.
Washington has recently sent forces, including aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln and B-52 bombers, to the Middle East in response to Iran’s continuous threats against US forces and their allies.
An Israeli minister warned on Sunday of Iran’s possible direct or proxy attacks against Israel following the tensions between Tehran and Washington.
“Things are heating up,” in the Middle East, warned Yuval Steinitz, Israeli Energy Minister and members of security cabinet on Sunday.