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US considers sending several thousand more troops to Mideast

A convoy of US military vehicles drives through the Syrian northeastern town of Qahtaniyah on the border with Turkey on October 31, 2019. - US forces patrolled part of Syria's border with Turkey today in the first such move since Washington withdrew troops from the area earlier this month, an AFP correspondent reported. Five armoured vehicles bearing US flags patrolled a strip of the frontier north of the town of Qahtaniyah, an area they used to operate in before Washington announced its pullout. (Photo by Delil SOULEIMAN / AFP) (Photo by DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon is considering sending several thousand additional troops to the Middle East to help deter Iranian aggression, amid reports of escalating violence in Iran and continued meddling by Tehran in Iraq, Syria and other parts of the region.

A Pentagon official tells senators that Defense Secretary Mark Esper intends to make changes to the number of troops deployed in the region.

Other officials say options under consideration could send between 5,000 and 7,000 troops to the Middle East, but they stress that no final decisions have been made.

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