US to send 1,500 troops to Middle East, officials say

Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten, Patrick M. Shanahan, Acting U.S. Secretary of Defense, and Secretary of the Air Force Heather A. Wilson are seen before a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing in Washington, DC.(Photo by Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images)

U.S. officials say the Trump administration has notified Congress it plans to send 1,500 troops to the Middle East amid heightened tensions with Iran.

Officials said members of Congress were notified following a White House meeting Thursday to discuss Pentagon proposals to bolster the U.S. force presence in the Middle East.

The officials spoke Friday on condition of anonymity because the troop plans have not yet been formally announced.

Earlier this week, officials had said that Pentagon planners had outlined plans that could have sent up to 10,000 military reinforcements to the region. Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan later said planners hadn't settled on a figure.

The U.S. began reinforcing its presence in the Persian Gulf region this month in response to what it said was a threat from Iran.