Posted BY: | NwoReport

April 8 (UPI) — The U.S. Navy revealed Saturday it has sent a submarine armed with dozens of cruise missiles to the Middle East as tensions with Iran escalate.

The military announced that the USS Florida began traveling through the Suez Canal from the Mediterranean Sea on Friday.

On Saturday, the U.S. Navy released a photo of the submarine traversing the Suez Canal en route to the Red Sea. The submarine is equipped to carry up to 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles which can be launched from the sea.

Trending: Trump seeking ‘military options’ for Mexican cartels – media

Tim Hawkins, a spokesperson for U.S. Central Command, said the USS Florida would be joining the U.S. Fifth Fleet to “ensure regional maritime security and stability.”

Iranian-backed militia and U.S. forces have exchanged fire in Syria several times in the past few weeks.

In March, an Iranian-designed drone killed a U.S. contractor and wounded five soldiers at a U.S. military facility in Syria’s Hasakah province. The U.S. launched airstrikes on Iranian-linked militia facilities in Syria in retaliation.

In March, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told the Senate Armed Services Committee that Iranian-backed forces have attacked U.S. forces 83 times in the past two years.