US Secretary Of Defense Makes Trip To Middle East: Israel, Qatar, Bahrain
Talks with Bahrain will involve U.S. efforts to convene multilateral coalitions to respond to aggression at sea that threatens shipping and the global economy.
U.S. Fleet Forces: The USS Gerald R. Ford, like the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, is in the Middle East now as part of the U.S. effort to make it clear that neither state or nonstate actors should hope to escalate the ongoing conflict beyond Gaza.
U.S. Department of Defense: This weekend, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III embarks on a multiday trip to the Middle East with stops in Israel, Qatar, and Bahrain. [To discuss the latest sea attacks in the Middle East].
In Israel, Austin will underscore the unwavering U.S. commitment to Israel's right to defend itself in accordance with international humanitarian law, and he will also discuss steps Israel is taking to mitigate civilian harm.
The secretary is also expected to discuss with Israeli military leaders what are to be the next steps in the conflict after an eventual cessation of high-intensity ground operations and airstrikes, said a senior defense official at the Pentagon today.