U.S. Orders Additional Deployment of Jets, Warships To The Middle East

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

OAN’s Shawntel Smith-Hill                                       
11:43 AM – Tuesday, July 18, 2023  

With an increase in concerning Iranian activities, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has ordered additional F-35 and F-16 fighter jets, along with the destroyer USS Thomas Hudner, to the Middle East in a bid to monitor key waterways in the region following Iran’s seizure and harassment of commercial shipping vessels in recent months, according to the Pentagon.


“In response to a number of recent alarming events in the Strait of Hormuz, the Secretary of Defense has ordered the deployment of the destroyer USS Thomas Hudner, F-35 fighters, and F-16 fighters to the US Central Command Area of Responsibility to defend US interests and safeguard freedom of navigation in the region,” Pentagon Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh said on Monday.

In May, the White House announced that the Biden administration had plans to make moves in the region but did not specify what they would include.

The deployment orders come after two incidents earlier this month, in which the U.S. Navy said its intervention had prevented Iran from illegally seizing two commercial tankers in the Gulf of Oman.

“One attempt included an Iranian navy ship firing upon the merchant vessel,” Singh said. “In light of this continued threat and in coordination with our partners and allies, the department is increasing our presence and ability to monitor the strait and surrounding waters.”

There have been a series of strategic attacks on shipping in Gulf waters during times of tension between the United States and Iran. According to U.S. Central Command, Iran has attacked or seized about 20 merchant vessels since 2021.

“We call upon Iran to immediately cease these destabilizing actions that threaten the free flow of commerce through this strategic waterway, of which the world depends on for more than 1/5 of the world’s oil supply,” Singh said.

About a fifth of the world’s crude oil and oil-based products pass through the Strait of Hormuz, which is said to be a choke point between Iran and Oman.

Stay informed! Receive breaking news blasts directly to your inbox for free. Subscribe here. https://www.oann.com/alerts

Share this post!