US warship, 50 fighter jets ready in Persian Gulf as Iraq crisis escalating
Sat Jun 14, 2014
The Pentagon says the US aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush and more than 50 attack aircraft are in the Persian Gulf, ready to launch attacks against Takfiri militants in Iraq.
The warship along with a battle group of ships are “in the region and ready for tasking,” Pentagon spokesperson Rear Adm John Kirby said on Friday.
Iraqi armed forces have had fierce clashes with the militants over the past few days. The terrorists have threatened to do terrorist acts in other Iraqi cities too, including the capital Baghdad.
Takfiri groups, including the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), are reportedly coming to Iraq from neighboring Syria and Saudi Arabia to undermine security in the country.
Kirby also pointed to the presence of over 30,000 military personnel in the Middle East in order to defend against any possible aggression and terrorist acts.
“I also think it’s important to remember that we have some 35,000 US military personnel in the Middle East region,” Kirby said. “Our forces there work closely each and every day with our partners to defend against external aggression and terrorist networks that threaten America and its allies.”