The top commander for military forces in the Middle East says an attack from Iran or its affiliates could come at any time.
“I think the threat is imminent,” Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie told NBC News. “We continually evaluate our force posture in the region.”
Citing potential threats from Iran and its proxies, the military deployed the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the Middle East region last month. The increased military presence comes at the same time the U.S. continues to exert a “maximum pressure” campaign against the regime, targeting its financial industry.
McKenzie said that despite the increased military presence, the threat has not diminished.
“I don’t actually believe the threat has diminished,” McKenzie said. “I believe the threat is still very real.”
“I would say the threat has probably evolved in certain ways even as our defensive posture has changed and become more aggressive,” he added.
In June, attacks blamed on Iran hit two Saudi Arabian oil tankers, a UAE bunker barge, and an oil-products tanker registered out of Norway. Pumping stations in Saudi Arabia were also hit by drone strikes last month and a rocket of the same model used by Iran was detonated near the U.S. Embassy in Iraq.