Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the The Daily Wire. The author of this post is Daily Wire News.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said during an interview over the weekend that the U.S. has deployed more assets in the Middle East in recent days as a deterrent against attacks against Israel and U.S. interests in the region.
Austin made the remarks Sunday on ABC News's "This Week"
with co-host Jonathan Karl after "escalations by Iran and its proxy forces across the Middle East Region,"
according to a statement from Austin on Saturday.
The U.S. deployed the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group to the Central Command area of responsibility in addition to moving the USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group to the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. The U.S. also deployed Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) batteries as well as additional Patriot battalions to locations throughout the region and placed additional forces on "prepare to deploy"
"Recently we've seen rocket and UAV attacks against bases housing our troops in Iraq and Syria. We're concerned about potential escalation,"
Austin said. "In fact, what we're seeing is a prospect of a significant escalation of attacks on our troops and our people throughout the region. And because of that, we're going to do what's necessary to make sure that our troops are in a good position, and they're protected, and that we have the ability to respond."
"This additional deployment sends another message to those who would - who would seek to widen this conflict,"
he continued. "As President Biden said earlier and as you've heard me say, if any group or any country is looking to widen this conflict and take advantage of this very unfortunate situation that we see, our advice is don't. We maintain the right to defend ourselves, and we won't hesitate to take the appropriate action."
Austin said that the USS Carney acted appropriately last week when it shot down several cruise missiles and approximately two dozen drones that were launched by the Houthis - an Iranian-backed terrorist group in Yemen.
"When you have cruise missiles heading towards one of our DDGs, one of our destroyers, that vessel is going to do what it needs to do to protect itself. The same applies for the UAVs,"
he said. "And I applaud the work of the crew of the Carney. They demonstrated what the - what our very capable United States Navy can do and will do if challenged."