US Deploys Guided Missile Submarine to Middle East, Sending a Clear Message of Deterring Adversaries

US Deploys Guided Missile Submarine to Middle East, Sending a Clear Message of Deterring Adversaries

US military sends a powerful signal to regional adversaries as a guided missile sub arrives in the Middle East Amidst the Israel-Hamas conflict, the Biden administration aims to deter escalation while ensuring regional stability

The US military made an uncommon statement, announcing the arrival of a guided missile submarine in the Middle East. This move is seen as a clear message of deterrence towards regional adversaries, especially as the Biden administration seeks to prevent a wider conflict during the Israel-Hamas war. On Sunday, US Central Command disclosed on social media that an Ohio-class submarine was entering its area of responsibility. A picture shared with the announcement seemed to depict the submarine in the Suez Canal, northeast of Cairo.

Operating in near-total secrecy, the military seldom discloses the activities of its fleet of ballistic and guided missile submarines. These nuclear-powered vessels operate as a covert component of the US nuclear triad, along with intercontinental ballistic missile silos and strategic bombers.

The recent announcement serves as a resolute message of deterrence specifically aimed at Iran and its regional proxies. The unnamed submarine now joins an array of other US Navy resources already present in the area, including two carrier strike groups and an amphibious ready group.

In October 2022, the US unveiled a ballistic missile submarine in the Middle East with the presence of Gen. Michael "Erik" Kurilla, the commander of US Central Command. The visit of Kurilla took place at an undisclosed location in international waters, according to Central Command.

The revelation of the presence of a guided missile sub in the area coincides with the ongoing meetings held by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken with various Middle Eastern allies. During his swift journey, Blinken has visited Turkey, Iraq, Israel, the West Bank, Jordan, and Cyprus.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin had a conversation on Sunday with the Israeli Minister of Defense, Yoav Gallant. Apart from highlighting the importance of safeguarding civilians and delivering humanitarian aid to Gaza, Austin expressed the United States' dedication to discouraging "any state or non-state actor seeking to escalate this conflict." This statement clearly alludes to Iran and Hezbollah, the Iran-supported armed group. While Iranian-backed groups have frequently carried out minor attacks on US forces in Iraq and Syria, the United States intends to make it unequivocal that larger-scale attacks will elicit a significant retaliation.

Austin stated this month that the increased presence of troops in the vicinity aimed to enhance regional deterrence efforts, heighten the security of US forces in the region, and provide support for the defense of Israel.

Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, the spokesperson for the Pentagon, affirmed on October 23 that they would undertake all possible actions and measures to safeguard US forces and national interests abroad. He reiterated that their main objective was to prevent the escalation of the conflict, but they would unfailingly defend their forces whenever necessary.

CNNs Haley Britzky and Will Mullery contributed to this report.