The Department of Defence (DoD) has authorized the immediate deployment of a paratrooper battalion from the Immediate Response Force (IRF) of the 82nd Airborne Division to the Middle East.

The deployment of the roughly 750 paratroopers comes in response to the increased truculence of Iranian-backed protestors and militias in Iraq.

“At the direction of the Commander in Chief, I have authorized the deployment of an infantry battalion from the Immediate Response Force (IRF) of the 82nd Airborne Division to the U.S. Central Command area of operations in response to recent events in Iraq,” said Secretary of Defense Mark Esper in a written statement.

Earlier this week, the Kata’ib Hezbollah, a Shia paramilitary group and Iranian proxy, attacked the American base in Kirkuk with rockets. A civilian contractor was killed and several warfighters were injured in the attack. In response to the attack, Central Command (CENTCOM) conducted targeted strikes in several Kata’ib Hezbollah facilities. The targeted strikes hit five locations (three located in Iraq and two in Syria) and resulted in the death of approximately 20 terrorists and the wounding of dozens.