Graphic Truth: Where are US forces in the Middle East?
Three US service members were recently killed in Jordan by a drone attack launched by an Iran-backed militia. But why were they there, and where else does the US have troops in the region?
The three slain soldiers were working near the Syrian border to support Operation Inherent Resolve, which monitors the Islamic State group. But tens of thousands of US military personnel are currently deployed across the Middle East -- a region Washington has maintained a constant presence in since 9/11 – for a variety of reasons, ranging from monitoring militant groups and training local forces to countering Iran's influence in the region.
In some cases, such as in Israel and Oman, the US military is active, but it's difficult to get exact troop numbers. Washington also moved to boost its assets in the region amid the Israel-Gaza war, particularly in terms of naval power in the Red Sea. Other than Syria, the US military has permission to be in every Middle Eastern country where its troops are present.