The United States continues "inching" towards a war against Iran, announcing on Monday the deployment of 1,000 more U.S. Armed Forces soldiers to the Middle East for “defensive purposes.”

“I have authorized approximately 1,000 additional troops for defensive purposes to address air, naval, and ground-based threats in the Middle East,” said acting Secretary of Defense Pat Shanahan.

“The recent Iranian attacks validate the reliable, credible intelligence we have received on hostile behavior by Iranian forces and their proxy groups that threaten United States personnel and interests across the region.”

These soldiers will focus on intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance. The Pentagon did not give further details about the timing of the deployment or what equipment will be sent overseas.

The 1,000 men will join the 1,500 men whose deployment was announced May 24 by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). In addition to this manpower, DoD also said it will deploy aerial drones and fighter jets to the Middle East.

The Pentagon cited credible intelligence Iran and its proxies are planning to attack American forces in Iraq. These were exactly the same reasons cited by the Pentagon when it announced the new troop deployment on Monday.

“The deployment will include approximately 1,500 U.S. military personnel and consist of a Patriot battalion to defend against missile threats, additional intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance aircraft, an engineer element to provide force protection improvements throughout the region and a fighter aircraft squadron to provide additional deterrence and depth to our aviation response options,” Shanahan said last month.

The latest U.S. military buildup follows last week’s attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.

Front Altair ablaze A picture obtained by AFP from Iranian News Agency ISNA on June 13, 2019 reportedly shows fire and smoke billowing from Norwegian owned Front Altair tanker said to have been attacked in the waters of the Gulf of Oman. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Washington is having a hard time convincing all its allies in the Middle East and in Europe that Iran is behind the bombings of two tankers. Even enhanced drone video provided by Washington allegedly showing Iranian sailors removing an unexploded limpet or magnetic mine from the hull of the M/T Kokuka Courageous, one of the two ships bombed, has failed to arouse widespread indignation among Washington's allies.

The latest troop deployment is part of a broader range of military options revealed to U.S. leaders late May. The U.S. initially plans to deploy 10,000 military personnel, Patriot missile batteries, aircraft and ships to the Middle East.

The end goal is the deployment of 120,000 U.S. troops to keep watch over Iran.