US to send 1,000 additional troops to the Middle East

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A handout picture provided by the Saudi Ministry of Defence on June 16, 2019 shows Saudi F-15 Eagles flying in formation with their US Air Force counterparts and a USAF KC-135E Stratotanker jet (top) in the US CENTCOM area of responsibility, on June 2. (AFP)
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A U.S. military image released by the Pentagon in Washington on June 17, shows what the Pentagon says are members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy photographed from a U.S. Navy MH-60R helicopter after removing an unexploded limpet mine from the M/T Kokuka Courageous, a Japanese owned commercial motor tanker, after it was attacked with another mine which did explode on June 13, 2019. (Reuters)
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Updated 18 June 2019

US to send 1,000 additional troops to the Middle East

  • Fears of a confrontation between Iran and US have mounted since last Thursda
  • Troops being deployed for “defensive purposes” amid concerns about threat from Iran

DUBAI/WASHINGTON: Acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan announced on Monday the deployment of about 1,000 more troops to the Middle East for what he said were “defensive purposes,” citing concerns about a threat from Iran.
“The recent Iranian attacks validate the reliable, credible intelligence we have received on hostile behavior by Iranian forces and their proxy groups that threaten United States personnel and interests across the region,” Shanahan said in a statement.
Reuters first reported plans to send US additional troops to the Middle East earlier on Monday.
Fears of a confrontation between Iran and the US have mounted since last Thursday when two oil tankers were attacked, more than a year after President Donald Trump announced Washington was withdrawing from a 2015 nuclear deal.
Iran said on Monday it would soon breach limits on how much enriched uranium it can stockpile under the deal, which a White House National Security Council spokesman said amounted to “nuclear blackmail.”


Israeli lawmakers submit bill to dissolve parliament

Updated 37 min 28 sec ago

Israeli lawmakers submit bill to dissolve parliament

  • Israel has been mired in political deadlock for months
  • Lawmakers from the rival sides together tabled the bill

JERUSALEM: Israeli legislators submitted a bill Tuesday that would dissolve parliament and trigger unprecedented third national elections in less than a year.
Israel has been mired in political deadlock for months.
With the two largest parties, Likud and Blue and White, unable to form a power-sharing agreement ahead of a Wednesday deadline, lawmakers from the rival sides together tabled the bill.
It is expected to go to a vote in parliament on Wednesday, setting the date for the next election on March 2.
“Under the exceptional circumstances that have emerged, and after two adjacent election campaigns in which no government was formed, the dissolution of the 22nd Knesset is being proposed,” the bill reads.
Neither Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu nor his main rival Benny Gantz have been able to form a coalition government after two inconclusive elections. Polls have predicted the third vote is unlikely to produce dramatically different results.
The legislation is something of a formality. The allotted period for forming a government following September’s election expires at midnight on Wednesday. Without a coalition deal, elections would have been automatically triggered later in March.
Each of this year’s elections, and their subsequent coalition jockeying, have largely been a referendum on Netanyahu, who was recently indicted for bribery, breach of trust and fraud in three corruption affairs.
Blue and White’s Gantz has refused to sit in a Netanyahu-led coalition, citing the long-serving leader’s legal troubles. Netanyahu has refused to step down, still overwhelmingly backed by his Likud party and his adoring base.