DOHUK, Iraq/KABUL (Reuters) - The Pentagon is considering keeping some U.S. troops near oilfields in northeastern Syria alongside Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to help deny oil to Islamic State militants, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Monday.

U.S. troops are crossing into Iraq as part of a broader withdrawal from Syria ordered by President Donald Trump, a decision that allowed Turkey to launch an offensive against the SDF which for years was a U.S. ally battling Islamic State.

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(Reuters) - Iran-backed militias deployed snipers on Baghdad rooftops during Iraq's deadliest anti-government protests in years, two Iraqi security officials told Reuters.

The deployment of militia fighters, which has not been previously reported, underscores the chaotic nature of Iraqi politics amid mass protests that led to more than 100 deaths and 6,000 injuries during the week starting Oct. 1. Such militias have become a fixture here with Iran's rising influence. They sometimes operate in conjunction with Iraqi security forces but they retain their own command structures.

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States carried out a secret cyber operation against Iran in the wake of the Sept. 14 attacks on Saudi Arabia's oil facilities, which Washington and Riyadh blame on Tehran, two U.S. officials have told Reuters.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the operation took place in late September and took aim at Tehran's ability to spread "propaganda."

One of the officials said the strike affected physical hardware, but did not provide further details.

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WASHINGTON -- The United States is planning to send a large number of additional forces to Saudi Arabia following the Sept. 14 attack on its oil facilities, which Washington and Riyadh have blamed on Iran, the Pentagon announced on Friday

Defense Secretary Mark Esper authorized the deployment of 3,000 additional U.S. forces to Saudi Arabia, Chief Pentagon Spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman confirmed on Friday

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(U.S. Department of State photo)

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Radio Free Europe/Radio Free Liberty.

Iranian media affiliated with various parts of the country's political spectrum have been trumpeting a rhetoric that blames U.S., Saudi Arabia and Israel for the widespread protests in Iraq.

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Recent Iranian success at striking military and civilian infrastructure targets in the Persian Gulf region have led the American military to practice switching operational control of military operations from bases located within range of Iranian missiles to bases in the United States that are out of harm's way.

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