U.S. deploying air defenses and 900 troops to the Middle East for 'protection' --Pentagon admits more attacks on U.S. bases | 26 Oct 2023 | The US military will deploy 900 soldiers to the Middle East to bolster its "force protection capabilities," officials said. The personnel will operate new air defense batteries sent to the region amid a string of attacks on US troops in Syria and Iraq. Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Pentagon press secretary Brigadier General Pat Ryder said some of the soldiers had already arrived in the Middle East, while the rest would soon depart from their bases in the United States. "The [Defense] Department remains squarely focused on supporting Israel's defense needs in the wake of Hamas terrorist attacks, deterring a broader regional conflict and ensuring force protection for our troops serving in the region," he said, referring to a deadly assault by the Palestinian armed group earlier this month. The Pentagon also confirmed at least three more attempted drone and rocket attacks on US bases across Iraq and Syria, following a series of strikes in recent weeks, including one that left 20 soldiers with "minor injuries," according to US Central Command.