The United States is weighing sending up to 14,000 more troops to the Middle East “in the face of a perceived threat from Iran,” the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.
The possible deployment would include “dozens” more ships and double the number of troops added to the US force in the region since the beginning of this year, the daily said citing unnamed US officials.
It added that President Donald Trump could make a decision on the troop boost as early as this month.
For its part, the Pentagon disputed the accuracy of the report.
“To be clear, the reporting is wrong. The U.S. is not considering sending 14,000 additional troops to the Middle East,” spokeswoman Alyssa Farah tweeted.
Washington has already ratcheted up its military presence in the Gulf and expanded economic sanctions on Tehran, elevating tensions across the region.
In mid-November the US aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln sailed through the Strait of Hormuz in a show of force aimed at reassuring allies worried about the Iran threat.
In October, Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced that two fighter squadrons and additional missile defense batteries were being sent to Saudi Arabia, for a total of about 3,000 new troops.