US sends more air defense systems nearby Israel


(MENAFN) The Pentagon has announced that the United States has increased its military presence in the Middle East during the Israel-Hamas conflict by deploying additional air defense systems to the region.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced in a statement on Saturday that, in order to strengthen US personnel' safety, he had "activated the deployment of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery as well as additional Patriot battalions" in multiple Middle Eastern locations that are not publicly known.

The THAAD systems, with an operational range of approximately 200 kilometers, are designed to intercept a wide range of missile types. In contrast, the Patriot systems, which have been recently deployed in Ukraine, have a range of up to 160 kilometers and are capable of intercepting missiles, drones, and warplanes.

Austin claims that the decision was made with the intention of supporting Israel following "detailed discussions" with US President Joe Biden "on recent escalations by Iran and its proxy forces across the Middle East." In addition, the minister said he had given the order for an undefined number of US forces to be prepared for deployment "as part of prudent contingency planning."

Following this month's unexpected attack on Israel by the Palestinian armed group Hamas, the US sent two aircraft carriers, the USS Gerald R. Ford as well as USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, along with supporting ships to the area.

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