US not going anywhere, White House says amid jitters in wake of carrier departure

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

The US will “continue to maintain a significant military force presence in the Middle East,” White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby says amid reported Israeli concerns about the Biden administration’s decision to withdraw one of the two aircraft carriers it moved into the Eastern Mediterranean following Hamas’s October 7 terror onslaught.

The US military presence includes the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower as well as an Amphibious Ready Group, which moved into the Eastern Mediterranean in recent days upon the departure of the USS Gerald Ford aircraft carrier, Kirby says during a press briefing.

The US is not interested in seeing the Gaza conflict spread, “but neither will we shrink from the task of defending ourselves, our interests and our partners,” Kirby says in reference to recent attacks by Yemen’s Houthi rebels.

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