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US ready to shift military assets in Middle East in response to Iran, officials say

President Donald Trump walks on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, May 8, 2019, to board Marine One.

ANDREW HARNIK/AP

By ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: May 9, 2019

WASHINGTON — American officials say the U.S. is poised to move more military assets to the Middle East in response to perceived threats from Iran.

Officials say two additional bomber aircraft are expected to deploy to the region, and one official says there are ongoing discussions about moving some Patriot missile batteries back to the Middle East.

There is no final decision on the Patriot missiles, and the move could hinge on whether the U.S. believes Iran is taking action to reduce the threat.

The administration has not detailed the threats, but U.S. officials say one element involved Iran's placement of missiles on small boats off its shores, triggering worries that Tehran may be preparing to attack U.S. forces or interests in the region.

The U.S. removed Patriot missile batteries from Bahrain, Kuwait and Jordan late last year. It's not clear if the batteries would go back to those countries. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal planning deliberations.

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