Report: US expanded covert intelligence activity in ME

Top US commander in the Middle East, General David Petraeus, signed a secret directive in September 2009 ordering an expansion of clandestine military activity in the area, The New York Times reported on Tuesday.
The order authorizes dispatching Special Operations troops throughout the Middle East, Central Asia and the Horn of Africa to gather intelligence and may be used to prepare for a military strike on Iran if tensions escalate, according to the report.
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