The United States military has deployed a nuclear-powered submarine to the Middle East in a show of deterrence against further escalation. The vessel comes as the Israel-Hamas war nears the one-month mark. Israel declared war after Hamas-led forces slaughtered 1,400 people during a surprise attack in Israel on Oct. 7.
U.S. Central Command provided no additional details in a statement Sunday, though it posted an image that appeared to show an Ohio-class submarine in Egypt's Suez Canal near its Suez Canal Bridge.
The U.S. is intending to send an unmistakable message to its enemies as officials acknowledging the use of these submarines or sharing information about their location is very rare. They represent part of America's so-called "nuclear triad" of atomic weapons — which also includes land-based ballistic missiles and nuclear bombs aboard strategic bombers.
Ohio-class submarines can carry nuclear ballistic missiles as well as cruise missiles. It is not immediately clear if the submarine now operating near Israel is carrying nuclear ballistic missiles.
The U.S. continues to bolster its own forces in the Mediterranean Sea and in the surrounding region as tensions remain high with Iran, which financially and militarily supports Hamas and Hezbollah, both terror groups currently attacking Israel.
Separately, Central Command shared an image of a nuclear-capable B-1 bomber also operating in the Mideast.
The U.S. has deployed or redirected more than 17,350 military personnel to the region since Oct. 7. This includes those in carrier strike groups, troops deployed and the Bataan amphibious ready group.
The U.S. has also sent F-35's F-15's, F-16's, A-10's and F-18's to the Middle East.
The heavy military presence comes as U.S. military personnel and coalitions forces in the region have been attacked dozens of times amid the ongoing fighting in Israel and Gaza.
The Pentagon confirmed last week that U.S. and Coalition Forces at Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) installations in Iraq and Syria have been attacked at least 28 times since October 17.
Of these attacks, 16 happened in Iraq and 12 took place in Syria. They included a mix of one-way attack drones and rockets.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said last month that the U.S. expected Iranian proxies to seek opportunities to escalate the Israel-Hamas war.
The senior officials also asserted that the Biden administration is prepared to respond accordingly if American civilians or armed forces became targets.
"This is not what we want, not what we're looking for. We don't want escalation," Blinken said on Oct. 22. "We don't want to see our forces or our personnel come under fire. But if that happens, we're ready for it."
Austin added: "What we’re seeing is a prospect of a significant escalation of attacks on our troops and our people throughout the region. We’re going to do what’s necessary to make sure that our troops are in that position and they were protected and that we have the ability to respond." He affirmed that the U.S. has the right to defend itself and said, "We won't hesitate to take the appropriate action."
On Monday, Nov. 5, Austin spoke with Israeli Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant and reiterated the U.S.'s ironclad commitment to Israel's right to defend itself.
According to the U.S. Department of Defense, he also reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to deter any state or non-state actor seeking to escalate this conflict and emphasized the importance of both protecting civilians and delivering humanitarian assistance.
Fox News' Liz Friden and The Associated Press contributed to this report.