Pentagon orders amphibious force to prepare to support Mideast operations as Iran holds massive funeral for slain commander

Pentagon orders amphibious force to prepare to support Mideast operations as Iran holds massive funeral for slain commander

06/01 - 17:43 - The U.S. Defense Department has ordered an amphibious force of about 4,500 sailors and Marines to prepare to support Middle East operations, a defense official said Monday, adding potential firepower to deal with the prospect of Iranian retaliation amid an outpouring of grief in Tehran for a slain top commander.

The order was disclosed as huge throngs of Iranians mourned Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani at his funeral Monday in Tehran. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, wept as he prayed over the general’s coffin, while he and other Iranian leaders vowed revenge for a U.S. drone strike that killed the charismatic leader of Iran’s special operations forces last week.

Here are key points of what we know:

●The Pentagon has told the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group to be ready to support Middle East operations, a defense official said.

●The funeral in Tehran for Soleimani was a stark display of his importance to the regime.

●In the aftermath of the strike that killed Soleimani, Iran has discarded more internationally mandated curbs on its nuclear program.

Iraq’s parliament is moving to expel U.S. troops after the strike, prompting President Trump to threaten Iraq with heavy sanctions if it orders the troops to leave.

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