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Paratroopers from 2nd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division were activated and deployed to the U.S. Central Command area of operations in response to recent events in Iraq. Photo: CAPT. ROBYN HAAKE/US ARMY/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. will deploy at least 3,000 soldiers to the Middle East amid fallout from an airstrike on Thursday evening that killed the leader of the elite Quds force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Qasem Soleimani, in Baghdad, NBC News reports.

Why it matters: The news comes hours after the Pentagon confirmed Soleimani had been killed. But defense officials told NBC News the deployment is not in response to the strike, but to an attack on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad by protesters and militia fighters earlier this week.

  • The additional soldiers will join the nearly 750 troops deployed from the same unit, the Immediate Response Force of the 82nd Airborne Division, earlier this week following the embassy attack.
  • The 82nd Airborne was ordered to prepare for deployment if tensions escalated in the region, CNN notes.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

New Jan. 6 body camera footage shows Trump supporters attacking officer

New body camera footage obtained by CNN shows the moment a DC police officer was brutally attacked by Trump supporters during the Capitol Hill insurrection.

Driving the news: The release of video comes a day after Republican members of Congress sought to downplay the Jan. 6 events, with some lawmakers calling the rioters "peaceful patriots" and comparing them to tourists.

Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Liz Cheney's plan to take on Trump

Cheney speaking to reporters after being removed as GOP conference chair yesterday. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) plans to make her purge the beginning of a new movement, with campaign travel, fundraising and speeches to challenge Donald Trump for ideological dominance of the GOP.

Driving the news: Sources in Cheney's camp tell me her message will be the importance of the truth, the need to move past Trump, and a push to articulate conservative policy and substance to combat Democrats.

Exclusive: Stephen and Ayesha Curry join One Million Black Women initiative

Stephen Curry and Ayesha Curry. Photo by Steve Jennings/Getty Images

Stephen and Ayesha Curry are joining the advisory council for Goldman Sachs' One Million Black Women initiative, Axios is first to report.

Why it matters: The initiative has committed to invest more than $10 billion in Black women over the next 10 years. It comes as banks and large companies are increasingly putting money behind rhetoric about advancing racial equity.

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