Trump will send 1,500 troops to Middle East

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks to U.S. troops in an unannounced visit to Al Asad Air Base, Iraq December 26, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks to U.S. troops in an unannounced visit to Al Asad Air Base, Iraq December 26, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday he will send about 1,500 American troops to the Middle East, mostly as a protective measure, amid heightened tensions with Iran.

He said the deployment involved a relatively small number of troops.

The forces would help strengthen American defenses in the region, two sources told Reuters earlier on condition of anonymity. They said the forces included engineers.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton and Phil Stewart; Writing by Doina Chiacu; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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