The US has sent more than 3,000 sailors and marines to the Middle East. The US Navy said the deployment was part of a pre-planned mission to support the US Fifth Fleet and deter Iran from seizing and harassing commercial ships in the region.
The forces arrived in the Red Sea on Sunday aboard the USS Bataan, an amphibious assault ship, and the USS Carter Hall, a dock landing ship. They are equipped with various aircraft, vehicles, and landing craft, as well as the ability to conduct amphibious missions, crisis response and special operations.
The deployment comes after Iran announced several achievements in its naval capabilities, including the launch of a new missile-armed warship, the unveiling of a submarine-launched cruise missile, and the test-firing of a new anti-ship ballistic missile. Iran also claimed to have successfully tested a new radar system that can detect stealth aircraft.