The quick reaction force of the US Marine Corps is moving to the eastern Mediterranean in the context of the conflict in the Gaza Strip threatening to spread and the regional situation becoming more complicated.
The New York Times quoted a senior US military official as saying that the US Marine Corps’ 26th Rapid Response Unit is currently in the Red Sea and will soon move to the Mediterranean.
This deployment will place the US Marine Corps unit in an area closer to Lebanon and Israel in the context of Washington advising citizens to leave Lebanon amid the complicated situation due to the conflict between Israel and Hamas forces. .
One of the typical functions of this unit is to assist in evacuating citizens.
According to US officials, the US Marine Corps’ 26th Rapid Response Unit has boarded the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan and has been operating in the area around the Mediterranean in recent weeks.
The US Department of Defense has not commented.
Last week, the White House said it would be “imprudent and irresponsible” not to plan to evacuate US citizens from the Middle East, including Israel and Lebanon.
At that time, US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Washington had not yet decided to launch an evacuation campaign. However, Israel’s expansion of its ground campaign in Gaza caused the US Embassy in Lebanon to once again urge its citizens to “leave immediately” before a crisis broke out.
The US State Department has raised the travel warning for Lebanon to level 4, meaning it advises citizens not to travel to this country.
The above warnings were issued in the context of the conflict between Israel and Hamas forces in the Gaza Strip continuing to escalate and threatening to spread into a region-wide war. Israel, in addition to dealing with Hamas on its southern border, also has to deal with shelling from the north by Hezbollah forces in Lebanon.
Fighting that has lasted more than three weeks has left about 8,000 people in Gaza and more than 1,400 people in Israel dead.
Over the weekend, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced on October 28 that Israel had “entered a new phase” in the fight against Hamas after Israeli infantry carried out raids into Gaza.
“We have entered a new phase of the war. Last night the ground in Gaza shook. We attacked above ground and underground,” Mr. Gallant said.
Meanwhile, Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi claimed that Israel had “crossed the red line” with actions that could “force everyone to take measures”.
President Raisi said Tehran will ignore US warnings not to intervene in the Hamas-Israel conflict. He also accused the US and some unnamed European countries of obstructing the ceasefire in Gaza.
Previously, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian warned the US that “new fronts will be opened” against Washington if it does not change its policies in the Middle East, including supporting Israel.