U.S. positions ships for remote possibility of evacuation

The United States positioned three warships in the eastern Mediterranean reportedly to evacuate Americans in the “remote” event that the Israel-Gaza conflict should require it.

CNN reported Nov. 19 that the 2,500 Marines on board the USS Iwo Jima, the USS New York and the USS Gunston Hall had been scheduled to return to Norfolk, Va. for Thanksgiving, but now are on standby near Israel.

The online report quoted two officials as saying that such a contingency was still seen as “extremely remote.” The officials said the ships would not be used in combat. — jta