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Navy aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) and its escorts are operating in the Gulf of Oman after leaving the Red Sea earlier this weekend, USNI News reported.
Ike and its escorts were operating off the coast of Oman as of Monday, according to the USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker, based on publicly available satellite imagery. The carrier passed through the Suez Canal on Nov. 4 and sailed through the Red Sea and past the Bab el Mandeb through the Gulf of Aden to its current location.
The move is part of the overall U.S. naval buildup in Europe and the Middle East following the Hamas attacks outside of Gaza and the ongoing conflict in Southern Israel.
While Ike is operating off the Arabian Peninsula, carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) and its escorts remain on station in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea along with U.S. command ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC-20), the amphibious warship USS Mesa Verde (LPD-19), elements of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit and French and U.K. warships.
Nearby in the northern Red Sea, USS Bataan (LHD-5) and USS Carter Hall (LSD-50) and the rest of the 26th MEU have been on station with a group of guided missile destroyers. Last month, USS Carney (DDG-64) shot down a series of drones and land attack cruise missiles fired by Houthi militants from Yemen over the Red Sea.
U.S. warships and other units have flowed into U.S. Central Command in an effort to keep the conflict from spreading beyond Israel. To that end, the Pentagon has said there has been an uptick in attacks by forces sympathetic to Hamas on installations in both Iraq and Syria. The U.S. has about 3,400 troops split between Iraq and Syria, Reuters reported.
As of Thursday, there had been almost 50 attacks on U.S. installations in both Syria and Iraq.
On Sunday, the U.S. Air Force made two air strikes in Syria in response to ongoing attacks on U.S. forces in the region.
“U.S. military forces conducted precision strikes today on facilities in eastern Syria used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Iran-affiliated groups in response to continued attacks against U.S. personnel in Iraq and Syria. The strikes were conducted against a training facility and a safe house near the cities of Abu Kamal and Mayadin, respectively,” reads a Sunday statement from the Pentagon.
“The President has no higher priority than the safety of U.S. personnel, and he directed today’s action to make clear that the United States will defend itself, its personnel, and its interests.”
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