Tensions continue to grow in the Persian Gulf.
In early May, the US deployed the USS Abraham Lincoln strike group as well as the USS Arlington amphibious transport dock, additional marines, amphibious vehicles, rotary aircraft, Patriot missiles and a bomber strike force to the region claiming that this is a needed measure to deter Iran, which allegedly prepares to attack US troops and infrastructure.
On May 21, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan claimed that the US had succeeded in putting the potential of Iranian attacks “on hold.” The declared victory over the mythical “Iranian threats” did not stop the US from a further military buildup.
On May 25, President Donald Trump declared that the US is sending 1,500 troops, 12 fighter jets, manned and unmanned surveillance aircraft, and a number of military engineers to counter Iran.
Trump also approved an $8 billion sale of precision guided missiles and other military support to Saudi Arabia, using a legal loophole. The Trump administration declared an emergency to bypass Congress, citing the need to deter what it called “the malign influence” of Iran.
The forces deployment was accompanied with a new round of fear-mongering propaganda.
On May 24, Adm. Michael Gilday, director of the Joint Staff, issued a statement saying that “the leadership of Iran at the highest level” ordered a spate of disruptive attacks including those targeting an Aramco Saudi oil pipeline, pumping facilities, the recent sabotage of four tankers near the Strait of Hormuz, as well as a May 19 lone rocket attack on the area near the US embassy in Baghdad. Besides this, he repeated speculations about “credible reports that Iranian proxy groups intend to attack U.S. personnel in the Middle East”. Nonetheless, Adm. Gilday offered nothing that may look like hard proof to confirm these claims.
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