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Trump denies US plan to send 120,000 troops to counter Iran threat

US President Donald Trump makes a speech during the meeting of the Ministers of the Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh, at the State Department in Washington, United States on 6 February 2019. [ Mustafa Kamacı - Anadolu Agency ]
US President Donald Trump makes a speech during the meeting of the Ministers of the Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh, at the State Department in Washington, United States on 6 February 2019 [Mustafa Kamacı/Anadolu Agency]

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, reports Reuters.

Trump told reporters at the White House:

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.

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.

OPINION: A war between the US and Iran is unlikely

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.

Iran Nuclear Deal or Trump protecting Israel - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Iran Nuclear Deal or Trump protecting Israel – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

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