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    Pentagon Has Ordered a US Aircraft Carrier to Remain In the Mediterranean near Israel

    Pentagon Has Ordered a US Aircraft Carrier to Remain In the Mediterranean near Israel

    WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has ordered the Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier and one other warship to remain in the Mediterranean Sea for several more weeks to maintain a two-carrier presence near Israel as its war with Hamas grinds on, U.S. officials said.

    It would be the third time the Ford's deployment has been extended, underscoring the continued concerns about volatility in the region during Israel's war in . The U.S. has two aircraft carriers in the region, a rarity in recent years.

    Multiple U.S. officials confirmed the longer deployments approved this week for the Ford and the USS Normandy cruiser on condition of anonymity because they have not yet been made public. Other ships in the Ford's strike group had already had their deployments extended.

    The Pentagon ramped up its presence in the region after Hamas' Oct. 7 attacks to deter Iran from widening the war into a regional conflict. In the months since, Iranian-backed militants in and Syria have seized on the war to conduct regular attacks with rockets, drones and missiles on U.S. military installations there.

    At the same time, U.S. warships in the Red Sea have intercepted incoming missiles fired toward Israel from areas of Yemen controlled by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels. They've also shot down one-way attack drones headed toward the ships and responded to calls for assistance from commercial vessels that have come…

    Continue Reading This Article At Military.com

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