The Pentagon has ordered a second carrier strike group to the eastern Mediterranean Sea and is sending Air Force fighter jets to the region as Israel prepares to expand its counteroffensive attack in Gaza, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement on Saturday.
The US warships are not intended to participate in Israel’s fight against Gaza, but the presence of two of the Navy’s most powerful vessels is designed to send a message of deterrence to Iran and Iranian proxies in the region, such as Hezbollah in Lebanon.
The movement are a part of U.S. making sure that the conflict has not broaden and to deter any hostile actions against Israel, said Austin in a statement.
The first carrier strike group, led by the USS Gerald R. Ford, arrived at the coast of Israel, last week.
The current and second carrier strike group is led by USS Dwight D. Eisenhower which deployed from Norfolk, Virginia, and is headed to eastern Mediterranean. Initially, the carrier was set to sail for the waters of US European Command.