Negotiations on the continuation of the U.S. contingent in Iraq failed, the U.S. has decided to strengthen their military presence in the Persian Gulf, reports the Los Angeles Times quoted a source in Washington on Friday.
“In this region, we can expect a lot of events, it would be wise to have the necessary strength,” said the speaker of the newspaper.
The complete withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq in late 2011 was announced last October. This decision followed the failure of negotiations with the Iraqi government on extending the mandate of U.S. troops in that country.
The source said after the failure of dialogue with Baghdad, General James Mattis, head of U.S. Central Command (Centcom), said at the White House that his group needed an additional reinforcement to react to a possible Iranian military threat.
The area of responsibility of U.S. Central Command covers 21 countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran as well as international waters (Red Sea, Persian Gulf and Western Indian Ocean).
According to the source, the strengthening of the U.S. military in the region so far does not mean preparation for war. Centcom units are rather seen as a rapid reaction force in case of transformation of the political confrontation with Tehran in armed conflict.
On Thursday it was announced in a second day of U.S. aircraft carrier, USS Carl Vinson, had arrived in the CENTCOM area of responsibility and that he would soon be joined by a group of warships led by the door Abraham Lincoln aircraft, currently deployed in the Indian Ocean.
In addition, the Pentagon has increased the contingent of 15,000 soldiers its ground troops in Kuwait, a country that was previously used as a transit area to Iraq for the troops and equipment to fight U.S., the newspaper reported.