Washington: US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has confirmed that the Pentagon is moving an aircraft carrier, warships and jets to the eastern Mediterranean and will also give Israel additional equipment and ammunition in the wake of the Hamas attack on the Jewish state, which President Joe Biden termed it an an “unprecedented and appalling assault”.

In a post on X late Sunday night, Austin said: “I just spoke with Israeli Defense Minister (Yoav) Gallant to reaffirm the unwavering support of the US for Israel’s right to defend itself. I also provided him with updates on resources, including munitions, on its way to Israel to help meet urgent IDF (Israel Defense Forces) needs.”

In a statement, the Pentagon said that under Austin’s direction, the Department of Defense is moving the “US Navy aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), the Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG60), and the Arleigh-Burke class guided

missile destroyers USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116), USS Ramage (DDG 61), USS Carney (DDG 64), and USS Roosevelt (DDG 80) into the Eastern Mediterranean in proximity to Israel”.

Separately, the Defense Secretary also said that the Pentagon had “taken steps to augment US Air Force F-35, F-15, F-16 and A-10 fighter aircraft squadrons in the region”, Xinhua news agency reported.

He added that the US government “will be rapidly providing the IDF with additional equipment and resources, including munitions” The first round of American security assistance to Israel “will begin moving” on Sunday “and arriving in the coming days”, Austin added.

Since the Palestinian militant group Hamas launched its attack on Israel on October 7, more than 700 people have been killed in the Jewish state, while over 400 Palestinians were also dead, according to authorities, reports CNN.

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