US extends carrier mission for more military ‘options’ – Reuters
The military also announced an “accelerated deployment” of A-10 Thunderbolt attack aircraft to the Middle East.
The Pentagon has chosen to extend the deployment of a carrier battle group in the Mediterranean to provide more “options” to officials following the recent attacks on US bases in Syria, which killed a military contractor and left several soldiers with brain damage.
The US Central Command (CENTCOM), which oversees military operations in the Middle East, announced the extension of the mission on Friday, saying the aircraft carrier strike group George HW Bush would not return to the United States on schedule. .
“Expanding the George HW Bush Carrier Strike Group, including USS Leyte Gulf, USS Delbert D. Black and USNS Arctic, allows options to potentially enhance CENTCOM’s capabilities to respond to a range of contingencies in the Middle East. East,” CENTCOM spokesman Col. Joe Buccino said in a statement.
He added that a squadron of A-10 attack aircraft would also be sent to the Middle East for a “accelerated deployment” but did not specify any particular country.
The HW Bush strike group is believed to be in the European Command (EUCOM) area of operations, after the Navy reported a port call in Souda Bay, Crete, on March 10. The shutdown came just days after the Neptune strike. “vigilance” exercise concluded in the Mediterranean, which involved 31 ships, 135 aircraft and more than 8,000 sailors and navies from 21 countries, including the aircraft carrier and its support ships.
The extended deployment comes after two drone attacks on US military outposts in Syria, which Washington has blamed “Backed by Iran” militant groups. In addition to one contractor killed, 13 other US personnel were injured in the strikes, including six soldiers who suffered “traumatic brain injury”, according to the Pentagon.
Iran swears revenge on Israel
The attacks prompted retaliatory US airstrikes that reportedly left eight “activists” dead, although military spokesman Patrick Ryder was unable to specify which group was targeted during a press briefing earlier this week. Tehran, for its part, has denied any involvement in the drone strikes, with Keyvan Khosravi, the spokesman for the country’s Supreme National Security Council, warning that Iran would respond to any attack on its bases in Syria.
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