WASHINGTON (Agencies): In a rare disclosure, the US military announced that a guided missile submarine has arrived in the Middle East, a move aimed at deterring its adversaries amid the growing threat of a region-wide escalation.
On November 5, the US Central Command announced on social media that an Ohio-class submarine had entered its domain of authority, and based on a photograph posted along with the announcement, military analysts and OSINT specialists noted that the vessel seemed to be in the Suez Canal northeast of Cairo, Egypt.
The announcement stopped short of naming the Ohio-class submarine deployed to the region. The US Navy has four Ohio-class guided missile submarines, or SSGNs, in its inventory capable of shooting the cutting-edge Tomahawk cruise missiles.
Following the US Navy announcement, military observers surmised immediately that the disclosure of the submarine deployment was probably intended to send a message to Iran and its alleged proxies like Hezbollah.
These militias have threatened escalation if Israel, which has been incessantly bombing the Gaza Strip after a surprise Hamas attack on October 7, does not agree to a ceasefire soon.
The announcement of the submarine deployment coincides with Gaza being put through a communication blackout amid what has been described as the heaviest bombardment to date. The death toll in the densely populated, narrow enclave is fast approaching the 10,000 mark, according to Al Jazeera estimates. The publication did not cite where it got these casualty numbers.
Although it is rare for the US Navy to reveal its location for security reasons, the deployment to the Middle East has been disclosed on previous occasions when tensions started to flare up. For instance, the US Navy revealed in October 2022 that one of its nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines was sailing in the Persian Gulf.