Fox News Report: U.S. orders covert military action in Mideast.

Gen. David Petraeus, the head of U.S. Central Command, is…

Gen. David Petraeus, the head of U.S. Central Command, is said to have signed a directive authorizing Special Operations troops to conduct surveillance missions in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Somalia.

The Pentagon has approved a broader range of secret military operations against militant groups in the Middle East and Africa, officials said Monday, according to a published report.

The New York Times said Gen. David Petraeus, the head of U.S. Central Command, signed a directive in September authorizing Special Operations troops to conduct surveillance missions in such countries as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Somalia.

The document says the goals are to “penetrate, disrupt, defeat or destroy” militant groups, including Al Qaeda, and “prepare the environment” for future attacks. The Times said the document does not authorize offensive action.

Anonymous U.S. officials cited by the Times said the order does allow for intelligence-gathering missions in Iran, which could lay the groundwork for possible military action if tensions between the U.S. and Iran continue to rise.

The directive, called the Joint Unconventional Warfare Task Force Execute Order, does not describe specific missions, although the Times said it had withheld some details in response to Defense Department concerns over U.S. troop safety.

Source: Fox News

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