US Acting Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan
US Acting Defence Secretary Patrick ShanahanReuters

 The United States has deployed around 1,000 additional troops to the middle east for "defensive purpose", according to a statement released by the Secretary of Defense on Tuesday, June 18.

Patrick Shanahan, the acting Secretary of Defence said in a statement, "In response to the US Central Command's request for additional forces, and with the advice of the Chairman The Joint Chief of Staff and in consultation with the White House, I have authorized approx 1,000 add'l troops for defensive purposes to address air, naval, & ground-based threats in the Middle East."

He further added, "The recent Iranian attacks validate the reliable, credible intelligence we have received on hostile behavior by Iranian forces & their proxy groups that threaten United States personnel & interests across the region." He also said that the US "does not seek conflict with Iran".

U.S. military images
Image showing Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps removing an unexploded limpet mine from Kokuka Courageous.US Department Of Defence

On Monday, the US military released new images to support its claims that Iran was responsible for the Gulf of Oman tanker attacks.

The US Department of State spokesperson, Morgan Ortagus, released a press release, which stated that the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo spoke with Iraq's Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi following Iranian attacks in the region. It said, "The Secretary shared our assessment  was responsible for attacking two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. He reiterated the US commitment to upholding freedom of navigation."

On June 15, US officials told CNN that Iran fired a surface-to-air missile on a US drone, hours before two tankers were hit by suspected attacks in the Gulf of Oman on June 13.

Last week, the US military released footage that showed Iran's Revolutionary Guard removing a limpet mine from one of the oil tankers attacked. The video suggested that the Iranian armed force tried to remove evidence of its involvement from the attacks.

The move comes after the pentagon announced its plans last month to send 1,500 troops and dozen fighter jets to the Middle East in response to what the US said was a threat from Iran.

Iran has denied the accusations and asserted that the country is responsible for maintaining the security of the Strait of Hormuz economic corridor.