Three U.S. Navy amphibious warships are returning to the eastern Mediterranean to remain on standby in the event they are needed to assist Americans leaving Israel in the coming days. They will not have any combat role.
U.S. Officials said although the Obama administration is not currently planning for one, an evacuation remains an extremely remote possibility. Americans who wish to leave the region now are able to do so using commercial airlines.
The decision to send the ships underscores the growing concern about where the Israel-Gaza conflict could be headed.
The ships involved are the USS Iwo Jima, the USS New York and the USS Gunston Hall.