Following the recent high-profile visits by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan to Israel, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin will arrive here on Monday.The visit assumes significance as the raging war between Israel and Hamas has entered the 73rd day, with International pressure mounting on the Jewish nation to stop the hostilities in Gaza following several civilian casualties.

Sources in Israeli Defence Ministry told IANS that Austin will announce a new Marine Protection Force in the Red Sea as the Iran-backed Houthi militia in Yemen have attacking and even hijacking ships passing through the crucial region.