S Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced on Saturday the dispatch of a second group of aircraft carriers to the Mediterranean amid escalating tensions in the Gaza Strip and signs that the Israeli military is preparing for a possible land invasion of the Palestinian enclave.
The US warships do not intend to participate in Israeli military operations, but their presence is intended to send a message of deterrence to Iran and groups such as the Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah, with the aim of preventing them from taking advantage of the situation. – attack. to the Jewish State.
In particular, in a statement, Austin explained that the deployment of this second group of aircraft carriers was carried out as part of Washington’s efforts to “discourage actions against Israel or any attempt to expand it war after Hamas attacks Israel.”
This second group of aircraft carriers will be led by the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, a sophisticated nuclear-powered ship that has participated in US operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The first group of warships sent by the United States to the region, led by the USS Gerald R. Ford, arrived this week in waters near Israel.
In addition, the United States has strengthened its military presence in the region by deploying fighter jets, including the sophisticated F-35 and F-15.
On Saturday, October 7, Hamas attacked several Israeli cities, to which Israel responded by declaring a state of war and bombing the Gaza Strip, representing the worst escalation in decades of conflict with Israel- Palestinians.
According to the latest data provided on Saturday by the State Department, 29 US citizens were killed in the attacks. It was not determined whether the victims died as a result of Hamas or Israeli attacks.
In addition, according to the State Department, 15 American citizens are missing, as well as one permanent resident, some of whom are believed to have been taken hostage by Hamas.