By DoD News
By David Vergun
The Defense Department currently has four lines of effort in the Middle East, said Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, who briefed the media Monday.
1. Protection of U.S. forces and citizens in the region.
2. Flow of critical security assistance to Israel as it defends against further Hamas terrorist attacks.
3. Coordination with the Israelis to help secure the release of hostages held by Hamas, to include American citizens.
4. Strengthening of force posture across the region to deter any state or nonstate actors from escalating the crisis beyond Gaza.
Strengthened force posture includes the deployment of the USS Gerald R. Ford and USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Groups, which are currently in the U.S. Central Command area, along with an Ohio-class submarine.
Over the past few weeks there have been attacks by Iranian proxy groups at al-Asad air base, Iraq, and al-Tanf, Syria, on U.S. forces there, Ryder said.
The attacks, by drones and missiles, resulted in several dozen injuries, including a mix of minor injuries and traumatic brain injuries, he said.
Some of those injured didn’t immediately report their condition, he said.
“The reporting data is highly dependent on self-reporting when individual injuries are not visually evident to medical personnel providing care directly following an incident,” he said.