August 12, 2022

American Aircraft Carrier Ordered to the Persian Gulf as Jihadists Storm Iraq

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered an aircraft carrier — the USS George H.W. Bush — to move from the northern Arabian Sea to the Persian Gulf as President Barack Obama considers possible military options for Iraq.

People train in sail boats in the waters of the Saronic Gulf, outside Piraeus port, near Athens, Greece, back dropped by the U.S. nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush, Wednesday, March 5, 2014. The 1,092 feet (333 meters) carrier which can carry 6,000 personnel, one of the world’s largest warships, will be deployed in the U.S. 6th Fleet’s area of responsibility. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

Hagel’s press secretary, Rear Adm. John Kirby, says the order will give the president added flexibility if military action is required to protect American lives, citizens and interests in Iraq.

Accompany the carrier will be the guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea and the guided-missile destroyer USS Truxtun. The ships are expected to complete their move into the Gulf later Saturday.

The ships carry Tomahawk missiles, which could reach Iraq. The Bush is carrying fighter jets that could also easily get to Iraq, where a fast-moving Islamic insurgency is gaining territory.