The United States said on Tuesday that it found it prudent to prepare evacuation plans for its citizens in the Middle East following the war in Gaza between Israel and Hamas.
The spokesman for the White House Security Council, John Kirby, said in a press conference that it would be “irresponsible” and “reckless” to not have “contingency plans” for evacuations in many countries in the region.
Kirby’s statements came after The Washington Post reported that the United States is preparing to evacuate more than 600,000 citizens of Israel and Lebanon because of the possibility that the conflict in the Gaza Strip could spread.
The spokesperson did not go into details about the Joe Biden administration’s plans in this regard, but emphasized that it has not yet reached the “killing part.”
However, he emphasized that “given what is happening in the Middle East” it is “absolutely reasonable” to consider helping its citizens in the area if they need to evacuate.
Many US government officials have expressed their fear that the conflict between Israel and the Gaza Strip will escalate and affect other countries in the region.
The Pentagon has taken a series of steps to strengthen the presence of the United States in the region in the face of recent “escalating” actions by “Iran and its allies.”
The Department of Defense has announced that it will send more missiles and defense systems to the area. In particular, he ordered the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower to be transferred to the Central Command area, which has authority in the Middle East and Central Asia.
The United States also ordered the deployment of air defense systems to various “locations in the region to increase the protection of US forces,” according to a statement.
At least 5,791 people were killed in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip by Israeli bombardment in retaliation for an attack by the Palestinian Islamist group on October 7 that left about 1,400 dead and more than 220 kidnapped.