Israel-Hamas War: China is deploying warships in Middle East as US dispatches Thaad and Patriots (WATCH)
China has sent warships, including a guided-missile destroyer, to the Middle East, coinciding with heightened tensions linked to the Israel-Hamas conflict. The region has also witnessed increased US military presence following concerns about Iran-backed Hezbollah, and efforts to provide humanitarian aid to civilians affected by the conflict.
The deployment of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) warships in the Middle East, including a guided-missile destroyer, reflects the growing complexity of the geopolitical landscape in the region. These actions come amid escalating tensions primarily attributed to the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian militant group, Hamas. The South China Morning Post reported that China's PLA dispatched a fleet of warships, which included the formidable Type 052D guided-missile destroyer Zibo, the frigate Jingzhou, and the integrated supply ship Qiandaohu. This deployment was part of the PLA's 44th Naval Escort Task Force, and notably, they had recently participated in a joint military exercise with Oman, indicating the broader scope of China's naval presence in the region.
This move from China raises questions about its strategic interests and objectives in the Middle East. Historically, China has maintained a policy of non-interference in the internal affairs of other nations, but the deployment of warships suggests a shift in this approach. The Middle East is a region of significant importance due to its energy resources and geopolitical significance, and this newfound presence may be part of China's broader strategy to safeguard its interests and gain influence in the region.
In response to this development, the United States has also escalated its military presence in the area. The deployment of the USS Gerald R Ford, the most advanced aircraft carrier in the US Navy, along with a battle group, underlines the high-stakes nature of the situation and the international community's concerns about regional stability.
Meanwhile, Israel has expressed its concerns about the threat posed by Iran-backed Hezbollah in Lebanon, a situation that further complicates the regional dynamics.
The United States has taken significant steps to bolster its missile defence capabilities in the region by sending a Thaad battery and additional Patriot battalions. These measures underscore the commitment of the US to protect its interests and support its regional allies.
Israel, in response to continued attacks from Hamas, has hinted at a ground invasion, though the exact timing remains uncertain. Designated as a terrorist group by the US and EU, Hamas' actions have further strained the region's stability.
Amidst these developments, the civilian population in Gaza remains vulnerable and in need of humanitarian assistance. The international community, including the United States, is working to ensure that civilians in Gaza continue to have access to essential resources such as food, water, and medical care. This commitment reflects the broader global concern for the well-being of innocent civilians caught in the crossfire.
Furthermore, the provision of medical and military equipment by organizations like El Al, in partnership with the Phoenix Group and the NGO 'Amudim,' demonstrates the international community's efforts to alleviate suffering in the region. These cargo flights, transporting medical supplies, thermal clothing for IDF soldiers, and civilian goods for displaced families, highlight the multifaceted approach to addressing the humanitarian aspects of the conflict.
The Hamas-run Health Ministry has reported that more than 4,300 people have been killed in Gaza. This figure includes casualties from a hospital explosion, although the exact toll is disputed. In addition, Syrian state media has mentioned Israeli airstrikes targeting international airports in Damascus and Aleppo, as well as a mosque in the occupied West Bank, reportedly used by militants. These airstrikes took place early on a Sunday and resulted in one fatality and damage to the runways, rendering them out of service. The situation highlights the risk of the two-week-old conflict with Hamas potentially expanding into a broader regional conflict.