Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin to visit Middle East as Iran threat builds


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February 28, 2023 WASHINGTON — US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will travel to the Middle East this weekend to meet with regional leaders and American troops, the Pentagon announced Tuesday. Austin’s trip will provide an opportunity to meet with “the leaders of several key partner nations to reaffirm the enduring US commitment to the Middle East region,” Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters during a press briefing. Pentagon officials have yet to reveal the defense chief’s itinerary, but say the trip is likely to build upon on Washington’s efforts to encourage Middle Eastern states to work together...