US Aircraft Carrier Enters Gulf of Oman Amid Middle East Tensions: Report

The United States has enhanced its military force posture in the Middle East to boost deterrence amid the ongoing Israel–Hamas conflict.
US Aircraft Carrier Enters Gulf of Oman Amid Middle East Tensions: Report
The aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) transits the Arabian Sea on June 12, 2020. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Aaron Bewkes/Released)
Aldgra Fredly

The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier reached the Gulf of Oman on Monday after traversing the Red Sea, according to a report, as the United States seeks to bolster its military posture in the Middle East.

The aircraft carrier made its way into the Red Sea on Nov. 4 after transiting from the Suez Canal. It was spotted operating on the Gulf of Oman on Nov. 13, according to the USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker, citing satellite imagery.
The U.S. Navy said on Nov. 4 that the Dwight D. Eisenhower carrier strike group delivered aviation and naval assets to the region, providing "greater flexibility and maritime capability" to the U.S. 5th fleet.
"The arrival of [Dwight D. Eisenhower] to [the] Middle East region displays our speed and agility to flex as our nation's leaders determined a balance of maritime capability in support of national security priorities," Rear Adm. Marc Miguez, the strike group's commander, said in a press release.

The United States has enhanced its military force posture in the region to boost deterrence amid fears that the ongoing Israel–Hamas conflict could escalate into wider violence throughout the Middle East.

The Pentagon also deployed the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense battery and additional Patriot battalions across the region to prevent escalation.

On Nov. 12, President Joe Biden directed the U.S. military to launch "precision strikes" on facilities used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in Syria in response to continued attacks against U.S. personnel in Iraq and Syria.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin said in a statement that the strikes were conducted against a training facility and a safe house near the cities of Abu Kamal and Mayadin, respectively.

"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," he added.

Pentagon deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh said last week that U.S. troops in the Middle East were accosted by rockets and explosive one-way drones 46 separate times since Oct. 17, including 24 attacks in Iraq and 22 in Syria. She said at least 56 U.S. service members have been injured in these attacks.

The United States has attributed these recent rocket and drone attacks to groups supported by the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force.

"If these attacks continue against our personnel, we won't hesitate to take further necessary measures to protect our people and to do so at a time and place of our choosing," she said.

In addition to the rocket and drone attacks targeting U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria, a U.S. MQ-9 Reaper drone was shot down in international airspace off the coast of Yemen on Nov. 8.

The Houthi rebel movement in Yemen initially claimed responsibility for shooting down the U.S. drone. In a press statement shared with NTD News, the sister media outlet of The Epoch Times, a Department of Defense official confirmed the drone had been destroyed and that the Houthis were to blame.

The Houthis see themselves as part of the "Axis of Resistance," which encompasses Iranian-backed Shi'ite Muslim factions in Iraq and Lebanon's Hezbollah terrorist group.

The movement has battled a Saudi-led coalition since 2015 in a conflict that has killed hundreds of thousands of people. During the fighting, the Houthis targeted strategic assets in the Gulf, most notably energy facilities in Saudi Arabia.

In addition to downing the U.S. drone, the Houthis have also recently waded into the ongoing Israel–Hamas conflict, claiming to have launched ballistic missiles and one-way drones at Israel.
Ryan Morgan and Reuters contributed to this report.