CNN: Expectations of a US forces reduction near the Middle East


Two US defense officials expect the United States to reduce the size of its forces in the eastern region in the coming weeks.

The Naval Rapid Reaction Force is expected to leave the Mediterranean in the coming weeks and return to the United States, according to a US official who provided the information to CNN.

The USS Bataan and the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) are expected to embark on a return trip to the United States in March, but the departure timetable is not completely clear, and the Pentagon could postpone the departure if conditions change suddenly.

In another context, the Rapid Reaction Force was sent to the Mediterranean at the beginning of the Gaza War to enhance the ability to carry out amphibious and special operations, and to train Marines to assist in evacuations.

Five months into the war, there was no real need to evacuate US citizens.

The return of the USS Bataan is expected to be the first of its kind since October.

CNN indicates that this move may mean that the United States will miss the presence of a warship capable of operating combat aircraft in the eastern Mediterranean, which has not happened since October.

This comes in the context of reports that Iranian proxies in the region have stopped their attacks on US forces in Iraq and Syria after US forces were subjected to repeated attacks following the beginning of the Gaza war.

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