More than 3,000 US sailors and Marines, the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan and the dock landing ship USS Carter Hall arrived in the Middle East on Sunday, US Naval Forces Central Command said on Monday.
More than 3,000 🇺🇸 Sailors & Marines of the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group & 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit arrived in the Middle East, Aug. 6, as part of a pre-announced Department of Defense deployment.— U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/U.S. 5th Fleet (@US5thFleet) August 7, 2023
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The personnel and equipment of the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group and the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit deployed to the Middle East under orders of U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in what the Pentagon last month said was a demonstration of commitment "to ensuring freedom of navigation and deterring Iranian destabilization activities in the region."
The deployment comes after Iran's recent aggressive actions in the region necessitated the intervention of the United States and its allies.
In April, the Iranian navy successfully seized a Marshall Islands-flagged oil ship in the Gulf of Oman.
In June, the US and British navies responded to a distress call from a merchant ship passing through the Strait of Hormuz that was harassed by three Iranian fast attack boats.
Early last month, the U.S. military had said it thwarted two attempts by the Iranian navy to seize commercial tankers near Oman.