Pentagon Deploys 300 More Troops to Middle East

"We have absolutely no intention, nor do we have any plans, to send combat troops into Israel or Gaza, period," Kamala Harris claims

The Pentagon has moved another 300 troops into the Middle East as the Palestine-Israel conflict threatens to widen into a regional war.

“These troops will provide capabilities in explosive ordnance disposal, communications and other support functions for forces already in the region,” the Defense Department said in a news release. “These forces will not go to Israel.”

US forces based in Iraq and Syria have faced some 27 attacks in recent days by local militia groups, the DoD said, and the new troops will “further bolster” their numbers. Officials offered no indication on what type of troops were being moved.

The new deployment is just the latest shifting of forces into the region over the last month amid the outbreak of war between Israel and Palestinian militant groups in the Gaza Strip, including Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and others. Gaza militants staged a surprise attack on October 7, breaking through the Israeli border fence and attacking several towns near the border, killing more than 1,300 Israelis.

Following the attack, Israel declared a “complete siege” of the Gaza Strip and launched an intense bombing campaign that as of Wednesday had killed more than 8,000 people, according to Gaza’s health ministry. Israel has also exchanged fire with Lebanon-based Hezbollah, and the Israeli Air Force (IAF) has struck targets in Lebanon and in Syria, where it claims Iran has been preparing bases from which to attack Israel. On Tuesday, the Yemeni Ansarallah group, better known as the Houthi movement, fired ballistic missiles and drones that hit the southern Israeli city of Eilat.

The US has shifted two aircraft carrier battle groups into the region, along with 2,000 more troops and additional air defenses such as a THAAD anti-ballistic missile battery, and rushed weapons to Israel to replenish its stocks.

On Sunday, US Vice President Kamala Harris said: “We have absolutely no intention, nor do we have any plans, to send combat troops into Israel or Gaza, period.” However, a US newspaper reported two days later that the US and Israel were discussing the possibility of US troops being part of a multinational force to patrol Gaza after Israel’s operation to destroy Hamas.

John Kirby, the spokesperson for the White House National Security Council, told reporters on Wednesday that “there’s no plans or intention to put US military troops on the ground” when asked about the report.