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US Increases Number of Military Personnel in Middle East by 33 Percent in 4 Months

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The number of U.S. military personnel stationed in the Middle East has surged 33 percent in the third quarter of 2017, a Department of Defense report said.

According to the Pentagon's quarterly report on military personnel, U.S. President Donald Trump increased the number of troops to 54,180 in September from 40,517 in May.

The U.S. forces are currently deployed in 14 Middle Eastern countries.

The biggest increase in U.S. personnel was seen in Bahrain, where the number has risen from 6,541 to 9,335, Kuwait, from 14,790 to 16,592, Syria, from 1,251 to 1,723, Turkey, from 1,405 to 2,265, and Qatar, from 3,164 to 6,671, the report said.

The number of U.S. personnel in Turkey soared 38 percent amid the ongoing diplomatic tension between Ankara and Washington.

Meanwhile, the U.S. presence also surged in Afghanistan from 10,107 in May to 16,500 in September.

The data also showed that there was not a single country where U.S. presence did not increase during the June-September 2017 period.

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