An Army officer speaking on behalf of special forces confirmed on Thursday that a team of "highly trained personnel that excel in uncertain environments" are operating near Iran. Spencer Ackerman just published the scoop on Wired's Danger Room blog:
The primary, day-to-day mission of the team, known as Joint Special Operations Task Force-Gulf Coordinating Council, is to mentor military units belonging to the U.S.' oil-rich Arab allies, who collectively are known as the Gulf Coordinating Council. Those Arab states consider Iran to be their primary foreign threat.
The task force provides "highly trained personnel that excel in uncertain environments," Maj. Rob Bockholt, a spokesman for special-operations forces in the Mideast, tells Danger Room, and "seeks to confront irregular threats."
The extent to which you want to read into these exercises depends on your military knowledge and tendency towards conspiracy theories. After all, the Army creates new task forces all the time, and the region around Iran has been a busy one for America's military. Bockholt warned about connecting news of commandos near Iran's border, "It would be inappropriate to discuss operational plans regarding any particular nation," he told Danger Room. Tensions, nevertheless, are high in the region because of the current stand off in the Hormuz Strait. But at least the U.S. Navy has brought in the dolphins to do recon missions.
A commando with the Combined Special Forces Operations Component Command, fires his weapon during a drill at a compound in Herat, Afghanistan. (Photo: Flickr / DVIDSHUB)