The United States started its airlift drills on Monday in the Middle East. 41 giant transports of the 22nd Airlift Squadron were deployed in the region, in anticipation of the prisoner exchange exercise which includes Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, to be conducted between Israel and Hamas on Tuesday. The aircraft, packed with command and control, and fighting elements will be kept ready in the region till Friday in case of any crises in the region. The USS John C. Stennis aircraft carrier is also on its way to the Mediterranean. The Stennis group will provide seven additional warships mostly destroyers and frigates. It will also provide ground troops support and can strike land and sea targets. Saudi, Egyptian, and Israeli armies are also on high alert.
The prisoner exchanges between Israel and Palestine have increased security fears against US and Israeli targets especially from Iran, Hizbollah and Syria.