Conflict in the Middle East: USA is concerned about possible expansion of the Gaza war

The US government is concerned about a possible expansion of the conflict in the Middle East.

Conflict in the Middle East: USA is concerned about possible expansion of the Gaza war

The US government is concerned about a possible expansion of the conflict in the Middle East. “We have seen missile and drone attacks on our troop bases in Iraq and Syria,” US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told ABC television. "We are concerned about a possible escalation."

What can currently be observed is the “prospect of a significant escalation of attacks” on US troops throughout the region. The US has therefore taken precautions to ensure the protection of its own units and to send a deterrent message "to those who try to expand this conflict."

Austin announced late Saturday evening that he would move additional weapons systems to the eastern Mediterranean. He ordered the deployment of a battery of the state-of-the-art missile defense system THAAD as well as units of the powerful Patriot air defense system in the region. The USA had previously relocated several warships to the eastern Mediterranean as a deterrent, including the aircraft carriers “USS Dwight D. Eisenhower” and “USS Gerald R. Ford”. Air force squadrons have also already been sent to the region.

The US State Department also announced that staff at the US Embassy in Baghdad and the US Consulate in Erbil would be reduced due to the security situation. Some of the employees and their family members were asked to leave the country.

Blinking: "We're worried"

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also expressed alarm. “We are concerned,” he told NBC. "We are taking action to ensure we can effectively defend our people and respond decisively when necessary." At the same time, Blinken emphasized that the USA did not want the conflict to escalate. "We don't want a second or third front to develop," he emphasized. "That's not in anyone's interest, and that's exactly why we sent a very clear message to try to deter Hezbollah and, more directly, to deter Iran from opening a second front."

According to the Pentagon, there have been several drone attacks or attempted attacks on US military bases in Syria and Iraq in the past few days. A US Navy destroyer in the northern Red Sea on Thursday also shot down three cruise missiles and several drones that the US said were launched by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Since the beginning of the war between Israel and Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, attacks from Lebanon on Israel have also increased. There are concerns that the Iranian-backed Shiite organization Hezbollah could further intensify its attacks on Israel. Hezbollah is considered far more powerful than Hamas.

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