US naval destroyer docks in Israel's Ashdod Port

By Abdel Raouf Arnaout

JERUSALEM (AA) – The USS Ross, a U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer, docked in Israel’s southern Port of Ashdod on Monday.

According to Israeli news website, the USS Ross — which last visited the port in 1999 — “is famous for firing Tomahawk missiles at the Daesh terrorist group’s bases in Syria”.

During their stay, crewmembers will visit several local sites in Ashdod and participate in activities with local residents, the website reported.

And on Thursday, it added, the U.S. embassy in Israel (recently relocated to Jerusalem) will hold a “special ceremony” marking the 234th anniversary of the U.S. Navy’s establishment.

The website went on to quote Port Director Orna Bikhor as saying: "Washington and Israel have common interests in the region, so we expect to see more [U.S.] ships dock in Ashdod.”

"The return of American naval vessels to Ashdod reflects the depth of Israeli-U.S. relations," she asserted.

According to Israel’s Channel 10, the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer carries a crew of 400 naval personnel.