US Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus says an American warship is headed to the Persian Gulf to conduct air operations against ISIL in Iraq and Syria.
The aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson and the rest of the strike group are set to relieve the USS George H.W. Bush, which has been stationed in the region since June.
The Pentagon launched airstrikes against ISIL targets in Iraq last month. A US-led coalition began military campaign against the group in Syria in September.
Mabus told reporters in Washington on Tuesday that US warplanes have conducted about 25 percent of over 260 bombing missions over Iraq and Syria since the bombing campaign began August 8.
“We can stay for as long as we need to stay based on the normal rotation of our ships,” Mabus was quoted as saying by Stars and Stripes.
“It is sustainable for as long as we need to be there.”
He added that more aircraft carriers are not needed right now, but the Navy is ready to send more carriers if needed.
“Right now we can do whatever we need to do with one carrier,” but, “if there are more missions, we’ll take a look at that,” the secretary said.
Meanwhile, the Pentagon announced on Tuesday that it plans to deploy 2,300 Marines to the Middle East to quickly respond to crises in the region.
Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said his country is establishing a task force in the Middle East which will include several fighter aircraft and be prepared to take rapid actions in the case of “contingencies.”
Report By Press TV (Source Link)