The U.S. will deploy more troops to the Middle East to deter Iran's increasingly aggressive behavior in the region, top military officials said Friday night.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced the deployment to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates would be “defensive” in nature.
Esper said the deployment was a first step toward addressing Iran's increasingly violent acts in the region -- including last weeks' drone attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities -- and he called on other nations to step up and condemn the attacks.
Officials said the U.S. urges Iran to immediately cease its aggressive and destabilizing activities in the region and noted Saudi Arabia has “full U.S. commitment” to help defend Saudi Arabia and its oil infrastructure, they noted.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned on Thursday that there could be an "all-out war” that would cause “a lot of casualties” if Tehran is attacked in retaliation for the bombings of Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities.