Ambassador Shapiro visits USS Porter in Haifa after US-Israel naval exercise

The Arleigh-Burke class destroyer has been deployed to help defend Israel from the threat of ballistic missiles from Iran, Syria and Iraq, US ambassador says.

August 14, 2015 13:39
1 minute read.
USS Porter

The USS Porter has engaged in combat and support operations with the US Navy, including Operation Iraqi Freedom. . (photo credit: COURTESY US NAVY PHOTO ARCHIVE)

US Ambassador Dan Shapiro visited the USS Porter destroyer on Friday, which is currently docked at the Haifa Port, following a successful joint exercise with the Israeli Navy.

In a post on his Facebook page, Shapiro said he was proud to visit the ship and its sailors, which US President Barack Obama has stationed in the eastern Mediterranean Sea since 2010.

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The ship, an Arleigh-Burke class destroyer, is equipped with the Aegis ballistic missile defense system, and has been deployed to “help defend Israel from the threat of ballistic missiles from Iran, Syria and Lebanon,” said Shapiro.

(Credit: Dan Shapiro Official Facebook Page)

Shapiro finished his post by emphasizing the ship’s symbolic status as it remains docked in Israel, saying the ship’s presence reflects “the United States’ ongoing commitment to Israel’s security.”

The ship has been engaged in many combat and support operations as part of the US Navy fleet, including launching a Tomahawk Land Attack Missile toward Iraq in 2003.

Meanwhile, Israeli police are increasing security at the US Embassy and Shapiro’s home in response to death threats he has received related to the Iran nuclear deal.

Several threatening letters have arrived at the embassy in Tel Aviv over the past week, and a threatening message was posted anonymously on Shapiro’s Facebook page.

The Facebook post referred to Shapiro, who is Jewish, as a “kapo,” the term for Jews drafted to do the work of Nazis during the Holocaust, and said the US had “abandoned Israel.”

Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.

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