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Ryan Robertson

Anchor, Investigative Reporter

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International

World’s largest aircraft carrier to support Israel against Iran

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Ryan Robertson

Anchor, Investigative Reporter

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Once again, Israel is at war, forced to fight for the protection of its citizens against an enemy that has explicitly stated it is hellbent on the nation’s destruction. And just as in previous wars, the fighting risks boiling over into a full-scale regional conflict.

Israel’s war against Hamas is already yielding gains. Hundreds of Hamas targets, including command centers and weapons depots, are already smoldering piles of rubble. Most of the fighting is focused in Israel’s south, along the Gaza border. But the Israel Defense Forces are also monitoring a potential second front in the war, this one with Hezbollah to the north. Israel said that suspected Hezbollah fighters have already launched mortar rounds.

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To deter Israel’s other enemies from joining the fray, namely Iran, the United States deployed the USS Gerald Ford aircraft carrier and a number of guided missile destroyers to the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

The Ford is the world’s largest and most advanced aircraft carrier. The ship is longer than three football fields, is home to some 5,000 sailors, and carries a deck of warplanes capable of toppling governments.

The U.S. Air Force (USAF) is sending support to the region, including F-35s, F-15s and F-16s. The USAF is also augmenting its A-10 Warthog fighter squadrons in the region. A-10s are great at close air support. The older craft is often described as a cannon with wings, and could experience a bit of a renaissance in the Middle East if called into action.

The added mass of warships, fighter jets and support craft are clearly a show of force. So far, the deterrent seems to be working. Iran isn’t mobilizing its forces against Israel.

But the relationship between Iran and its terrorist proxies, Hamas and Hezbollah, is well-established. Iran gives money, weapons, and training to the terrorist groups. It’s why some in the West are accusing Iran of playing a central role in the recent attacks. After all, senior members from Hamas and Hezbollah said Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Forces helped plan the attack.

The Wall Street Journal is also reporting that Iranian security officials green-lit the attacks during an in-person meeting the previous Monday.

The U.S., France, and other countries haven’t specifically blamed Iran for the attacks. Iran’s supreme leader denied his country had anything to do with the massacre of innocents, but celebrated it nonetheless.

Iran’s involvement aside, there’s also a claim that another familiar foe had a part in training Hamas: Russia’s Wagner Group.

Ukraine’s Center for National Resistance (CNR) said information out of Belarus shows that when Wagner fighters left the country earlier this year and traveled to Africa, it was to train Hamas fighters on how to use unmanned aerial systems on the battlefield. According to the CNR, of all Hamas’ allies, only Russia has the tools and battlefield experience to teach Hamas how to use drones to drop bombs on tanks or as guided artillery.

If this information proves true, it will bolster the argument that Russia and its allies in the Middle East are working to sow even more chaos in the world. To what end is up for debate. Russia may be trying to distract the world from its war in Ukraine. Or it could be working with other adversary nations to draw the U.S. into direct conflict.

Whatever the case may be, the attacks on Israeli civilians galvanized the Jewish state and its allies. In a joint statement, the leaders of France, Germany, Italy, the U.K. and the U.S. all expressed their “steadfast support for the State of Israel,” and the “unequivocal condemnation of Hamas and its appalling acts of terrorism.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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ONCE AGAIN, ISRAEL IS AT WAR. FORCED TO FIGHT FOR THE PROTECTION OF ITS CITIZENS AGAINST AN ENEMY THAT HAS EXPLICITLY STATED IT IS HELLBENT ON THE NATION’S DESTRUCTION. JUST LIKE IN PREVIOUS WARS, WHEN THE FIGHTING RISKED BOILING OVER INTO A FULL-SCALE REGIONAL CONFLICT, THOSE RISKS REMAIN TODAY.

ISRAEL’S WAR AGAINST HAMAS IS ALREADY YIELDING GAINS. HUNDREDS OF HAMAS TARGETS, INCLUDING COMMAND CENTERS AND WEAPONS DEPOTS, ARE ALREADY SMOLDERING PILES OF RUBBLE. MOST OF THE FIGHTING IS FOCUSED IN ISRAEL’S SOUTH, ALONG THE GAZA BORDER. BUT THE ISRAEL DEFENSE FORCES ARE ALSO MONITORING A POTENTIAL SECOND FRONT IN THE WAR, THIS ONE WITH HEZBOLLAH TO THE NORTH. ISRAEL SAYS SUSPECTED HEZBOLLAH FIGHTERS ALREADY LAUNCHED MORTAR ROUNDS.

TO DETER ISRAEL’S OTHER ENEMIES FROM JOINING THE FRAY, NAMELY IRAN, THE UNITED STATES DEPLOYED THE USS GERALD FORD AIRCRAFT CARRIER AND A NUMBER OF GUIDED MISSILE DESTROYERS TO THE EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN.

THE FORD IS THE WORLD’S LARGEST AND MOST ADVANCED AIRCRAFT CARRIER. THE SHIP IS LONGER THAN THREE FOOTBALL FIELDS, IS HOME TO SOME 5,000 SAILORS, AND CARRIES A DECK OF WARPLANES CAPABLE OF TOPPLING GOVERNMENTS.

THE US AIR FORCE IS ALSO SENDING SUPPORT TO THE REGION, INCLUDING F-35s, F-15s and 16s. THE USAF IS ALSO AUGMENTING ITS A-10 WARTHOG FIGHTER SQUADRONS IN THE REGION. A-10s ARE GREAT AT CLOSE AIR SUPPORT, OFTEN DESCRIBED AS A CANNON WITH WINGS.

THE ADDED MASS OF WARSHIPS, FIGHTER JETS AND SUPPORT CRAFT IS CLEARLY A SHOW OF FORCE. UP TO THIS POINT, THE DETERRENT SEEMS TO BE WORKING FOR THE MOST PART. IRAN ISN’T MOBILIZING ITS FORCES TO ENTER THE FIGHT IN ISRAEL.

BUT THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN IRAN AND ITS TERRORIST PROXIES, HAMAS AND HEZBOLLAH, IS WELL-ESTABLISHED. IRAN GIVES MONEY, WEAPONS AND TRAINING TO THE TERRORIST GROUPS. IT’S WHY SOME IN THE WEST ARE ACCUSING IRAN OF PLAYING A CENTRAL ROLE IN THE RECENT ATTACKS. AFTERALL, SENIOR MEMBERS FROM HAMAS AND HEZBOLLAH SAID IRAN’S REVOLUTIONARY GUARD FORCES HELPED PLAN THE ATTACK. THE WALL STREET JOURNAL IS ALSO REPORTING IRANIAN SECURITY OFFICIALS GREEN LIT THE ATTACKS DURING AN IN-PERSON MEETING THE MONDAY BEFORE.

THE US, FRANCE, AND OTHER COUNTRIES HAVEN’T SPECIFICALLY BLAMED IRAN FOR THE ATTACKS. IRAN’S SUPREME LEADER DENIED HIS COUNTRY HAD ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE MASSACRE OF INNOCENTS, BUT CELEBRATED IT NONETHELESS.

IRAN’S INVOLVEMENT ASIDE, THERE’S ALSO A CLAIM ANOTHER FAMILIAR FOE HAD A PART IN TRAINING HAMAS: RUSSIA’S WAGNER PRIVATE MILITARY COMPANY.

UKRAINE’S CENTER FOR NATIONAL RESISTANCE SAID INFORMATION OUT OF BELARUS SHOWS WHEN WAGNER FIGHTERS LEFT THE COUNTRY EARLIER THIS YEAR AND TRAVELED TO AFRICA, T WAS TO TRAIN HAMAS FIGHTERS ON HOW TO USE UNMANNED AERIAL SYSTEMS ON THE BATTLEFIELD. ACCORDING TO THE CNR, OF ALL HAMAS’ ALLIES, ONLY RUSSIA HAS THE TOOLS AND BATTLEFIELD EXPERIENCE TO TEACH HAMAS HOW TO USE DRONES TO DROP BOMBS ON TANKS, OR AS GUIDED ARTILLERY.

IF THIS INFORMATION PROVES TRUE, IT WOULD BOLSTER THE ARGUMENT RUSSIA AND ITS ALLIES IN THE MIDDLE EAST ARE WORKING TO SOW EVEN MORE CHAOS IN THE WORLD. TO WHAT END IS UP FOR DEBATE. RUSSIA MAY BE TRYING TO DISTRACT THE WORLD FROM ITS WAR IN UKRAINE. OR IT COULD BE WORKING WITH OTHER ADVERSARY NATIONS TO DRAW THE US INTO DIRECT CONFLICT.

WHATEVER THE CASE MAY BE, THE ATTACKS ON ISRAELI CIVILIANS GALVANIZED THE JEWISH STATE AND ITS ALLIES. IN A JOINT STATEMENT, THE LEADERS OF FRANCE, GERMANY, ITALY, THE UK AND THE US ALL EXPRESSED THEIR STEADFAST SUPPORT FOR STATE OF ISRAEL, AND THE UNEQUIVOCAL CONDEMNATION OF HAMAS AND ITS APPALLING ACTS OF TERRORISM.