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US to enhance defence position in Middle East

This is the first period of extended dual US carrier operations in the Middle East since 2012, according to McKenzie.

SNS | New Delhi |

A top American General on Friday said that the US was enhancing its defence position in the Middle East after the latest tit-for-tat attacks in Iraq.

During a press briefing at a Pentagon, Commander of the US Central Command Kenneth McKenzie said that the American military will continue to operate two aircraft carrier strikes groups in the region, according to report.

This is the first period of extended dual US carrier operations in the Middle East since 2012, according to McKenzie.

Last month, a senior Palestinian official said that President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan, also known as the “Deal of the Century”, includes 300 violations of international law.

On January 28, President Trump unveiled his long-awaited Middle East peace plan, envisaging a two-state solution but keeping Jerusalem as Israel’s undivided capital.

The Palestinians have already rejected the proposal, accusing Trump of being biased in favour of Israel as he has adopted policies that bolster Israel at their expense.

President Trump said his plan includes “a realistic two-state solution,” and that his administration would “work to create a territory for a contiguous Palestinian state in the future” that would “reject terrorism.”

Under the plan, Jerusalem will remain Israel’s “undivided capital,” Trump said, raising eyebrows after he had said that the capital of the Palestinian state would be in “eastern Jerusalem,” where the United States would “proudly open an embassy.”

The General also noted that the US military is moving Patriot missile defence systems into Iraq, and weapons systems for countering rockets, artillery, and mortars, known as C-RAM, will also be deployed.

On Friday, the US Department of Defence confirmed in a statement on Friday that the coalition forces carried out overnight airstrikes on military bases housing Iraqi paramilitary Hashd Shaabi forces.

Over 5,000 US troops are currently deployed in Iraq to support local forces in battles against the Islamic State terror group, mainly providing training and advising for them.