The Pentagon ordered over the weekend an additional 500 troops to Europe, which would bring the total number of American forces there to about 100,000, a senior US defense official said on Monday, as the United States seeks to guard against the war’s spillover into NATO nations.
The additional troops had largely been expected and are being sent from the United States to support American troops already in the region.
“It is not based on something that we saw over the course of the weekend,” the official said.
The deployment included additional refueling aircraft that would be sent to Greece along with an ordnance and maintenance company.
The official added that while the airspace over Ukraine was still contested, Putin still had the “vast majority” of his fighter jets and helicopters that had been amassed near Ukraine available to fly.
“We have seen no indication that he has felt compelled to flow in from elsewhere in Russia additional air force capability,” the official added. [Reuters]