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US President Donald Trump sends 1,500 troops to Middle East as tensions with Iran continue to rise

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US President Donald Trump sends 1,500 troops to Middle East as tensions with Iran continue to rise
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Tensions between the US and Iran are continuing to increase.

On Friday, Washington announced that 1,500 troops are being sent to the Middle East. The move was described as an effort to bolster defences against Iran after that country was accused of attacking a number of fuel tankers in the Persian Gulf earlier this month.

The Trump administration also used the perceived threat from Iran to bypass Congress and clear the sale of over seven billion euros' worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia, Iran's arch-rival in the region.

At the same time, thousands of supporters of an Iraqi populist Shiite cleric held sit-ins around Iraq on Friday, saying their country should not be a battlefield between the United States and Iran.

The protests came days after a rocket slammed into Baghdad's fortified Green Zone, landing less than a mile from the sprawling US Embassy. No injuries were reported and no group claimed responsibility.