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May 14, 2019 12:22 pm

Trump Denies US Plan to Send 120,000 Troops to Counter Iran Threat

avatar by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) transits the Strait of Gibraltar, entering the Mediterranean Sea as it continues operations in the 6th Fleet area of responsibility in this April 13, 2019 photo supplied by the US Navy. Photo: US Navy / Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Clint Davis / Handout via Reuters.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday denied a New York Times report that US officials were discussing a military plan to send up to 120,000 troops to the Middle East to counter any attack or nuclear weapons acceleration by Iran.

“I think it’s fake news, OK? Now, would I do that? Absolutely. But we have not planned for that. Hopefully we’re not going to have to plan for that. And if we did that, we’d send a hell of a lot more troops than that,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

The Times reported that Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan presented an updated plan last week in a meeting of top national security aides that envisions sending as many as 120,000 American troops to the region if Iran attacks US forces or accelerates work on its nuclear weapons.

The updated plan does not call for a land invasion of Iran, which would require far more troops, the Times reported, citing unidentified administration officials.

The plan reflects revisions ordered by Iran hawks, including National Security Adviser John Bolton, the newspaper said.

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