As tensions equate to World War Three levels in the Middle East, over 12,000 US Navy and Marine Corps personnel aboard ten warships are heading towards the Middle East, according to reports.
Over the weekend, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III announced a series of actions to bolster the US military presence in the Middle East.
The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group has been redirected to the Central Command area of responsibility in addition to the Navy’s most advanced nuclear aircraft carrier, USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group, which is currently positioned in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.
The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group now joins the USS Gerald R. Ford group, bringing the number of American warships in the region to 10.
There are 4,500 sailors on board the US aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford, accompanied by five other ships carrying over 1,600 US troops.
Onboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier is 5,000 service members, with further ships carrying another 1,000 troops.
Last week, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin placed 2,000 forces on standby to “be ready to deploy.”
The forces will now be ready to be deployed to the Eastern Mediterranean within 24 hours, Fox News reported.
The order came just days after a special operations Marine Corps unit participating in exercises departed early “as a result of emerging events.”
Over the weekend, Austin placed an unspecified number of US troops under “prepare to deploy” orders.
Austin said in a statement:
“I have placed an additional number of forces on prepare to deploy orders as part of prudent contingency planning, to increase their readiness and ability to quickly respond as required.”
🚨 JUST IN: After the United States sent two carrier strike groups into the Middle East, China reportedly sent several warships there.— HardBoiledEgg🥚 (@HarderBoiledEgg) October 22, 2023
According to reports, up to six Chinese vessels, including two cutting-edge 052D destroyers, were deployed.
The announcement comes as the US is… pic.twitter.com/ZUX3yAgWDp
Meanwhile, up to six Chinese Warships have been spotted in waters near the Middle East.
IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari said in a statement:
“We need to enter under the best possible conditions, and this is what we are doing now, as the next stage of war approaches.”
“From today, we are increasing the strikes and minimizing the danger.”
“We will narrow the risks to our forces over the next stages. This is why we have once again urged residents of Gaza to keep moving south,” he added.
Many media outlets have taken Hagari’s words as meaning they are preparing for an imminent ground assault.
Meanwhile, 20 large trucks loaded with humanitarian aid passed into Gaza through the Rafah crossing from Egypt.
However, controversy was sparked after a report from The New York Times revealed the aid convoy was not checked by inspectors before entering the strip, meaning weapons or ammo could be hidden in the convoy.
World War Three
Concerns are mounting that Hezbollah could fully enter the conflict, with growing speculation that the Iran-backed and well-armed Shia paramilitary group is ready to attack northern Israel when the ground assault is launched on the Gaza Strip.
US warships and at least one carrier are also in the region as part of “support” operations.
The USS Gerald Ford Carrier Strike Group's maneuvers in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea from October 10 to 21. pic.twitter.com/0gH7D63uJU— Duan Dang (@duandang) October 21, 2023