'Alarming events': Pretext US uses to clear destroyer, F16 deployment
The Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary says the US is urging Iran to immediately stop its "destabilizing actions" in Hormuz, which allegedly threaten the free flow of commerce.
Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh said on Monday that the guided-missile destroyer USS Thomas Hudner has been deployed by US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, in addition to F-35 and F-16 fighter jets to the Central Command Area of Responsibility (CENTCOM) as a result of "alarming events" involving Iran's navy in the Strait of Hormuz.
During a press briefing, she said, "In response to a number of recent alarming events in the Strait of Hormuz, the Secretary of Defense has ordered the deployment of the USS Thomas Hudner, F-35 fighters and F-16 fighters to the US Central Command Area of Responsibility to defend US interests and safeguard freedom of navigation in the region."
Singh added that the US is urging Iran to immediately stop its "destabilizing actions", which allegedly threaten the free flow of commerce through the strategic waterway.
On July 15, the United States said it is intensifying its deployment of fighter jets in the strategic Strait of Hormuz to safeguard its vessels against potential, alleged seizures by Iran, AP reported citing a senior defense official.
The official also expressed mounting concerns in Washington about the deepening connections between Iran, Russia, and Syria across the Middle East region.
As per the official's statement in a press briefing, the United States plans to dispatch F-16 fighter jets to the region over the upcoming weekend in order to reinforce the A-10 attack aircraft that have been conducting patrols in the area for over a week.
According to the anonymous defense source, the F-16s will provide aerial protection to the ships cruising through the waterway, significantly bolstering the US military's presence and visibility in the area.
The White House confirmation comes hours after Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Nasser Kanaani stressed that security is a concern shared by all Gulf nations, after calling on the US to refrain from any provocative, non-constructive, and destabilizing measures in the region.
Commenting on reports about the US possible deployment of F-16 fighter jets in the Strait of Hormuz, Kanaani pointed out that Washington has never played a peaceful and beneficial role in the region.
According to the Iranian diplomat, Iran carefully and precisely monitors any unlawful and destructive behavior affecting regional security and is alert to any provocative or unlawful activity, particularly near its borders, and will pay close attention to it.