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FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — Presidential hopeful Michael Bloomberg met with veterans in Fayetteville on a campaign stop Friday.

The former New York mayor discussed employment policy for military families and economic security.

“I promise to never put our men and women in harm’s way unless it is absolutely necessary,” Bloomberg said.

His visit follows the announcement that the US will deploy thousands of additional troops to the Middle East.

The troops are being deployed as tensions with Iran mount due to the airstrike that killed Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani, a US defense official said.

The Associated Press reports the 3,000 troops are from the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

In a dramatic escalation amid tensions between the two countries, the Pentagon confirmed Thursday that the US killed Soleimani, the leader of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, in a drone strike on Baghdad International airport ordered by President Donald Trump.

Intelligence showed Soleimani was in Baghdad following Tuesday’s embassy attack to plan future hits on US targets with Iranian proxy forces, a senior administration official said

. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday that the strike was carried out to disrupt an “imminent” attack in the region.

Bloomberg released a statement on the killing of Soleimani, saying he “was a murderer with the blood of Americans on his hands.”