Pentagon weighing request to send 5,000 more troops to Middle East

The U.S. Department of Defense is considering a U.S. military request to send an additional 5,000 troops to the Middle East amid the standoff with Iran.

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Retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin tells FOX Business the Pentagon’s request could have emanated from Central Command.

“I don’t know if it’s to shore up the U.S. interest over in Iraq and Syria because there are Americans in both places or whether there is some other purpose. But I would think it’s a security issue,” he said on the “Evening Edit” Wednesday.

Iran’s hardline supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei publically lectured the country’s moderate president, Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif over the 2015 nuclear deal struck under former President Barack Obama. It was the first time the supreme leader publically named them, highlighting the splits and divisions between the leaders of the Islamic Republic, according to the Associated Press.

President Trump has said intelligence agencies indicate Iran plans to target U.S. forces in Iraq and other parts of the Middle East. On Monday, the president called out Iran for acting as the “provocateur of terror.”

“We have no indication that anything has happened or will happen but if it does, it will be met with great force,” Trump told reporters.

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Although he believes the U.S. intelligence on Iran to be accurate, Boykin said he doesn’t think the Trump administration nor Iran wants to go to war.

“The Iranians have everything to lose by going to war with the United States,” he said.