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Pentagon orders aircraft carrier to Gulf in case Iraq military option needed

Published on Jun 15, 2014 12:39 AM
 
This US Navy photo shows the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush as it departs Naval Station Norfolk for its maiden deployment May 11, 2011. US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered an aircraft carrier moved into the Gulf on Saturday, readying it in case Washington decides to pursue a military option after insurgents overwhelmed a string of Iraqi cities this week and threatened Baghdad. -- PHOTO: AFP HANDOUT-US NAVY/Nicholas Hall

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered an aircraft carrier moved into the Gulf on Saturday, readying it in case Washington decides to pursue a military option after insurgents overwhelmed a string of Iraqi cities this week and threatened Baghdad.

"The order will provide the Commander-in-Chief additional flexibility should military options be required to protect American lives, citizens and interests in Iraq," the Pentagon said in a statement.

The carrier USS George H.W. Bush, moving from the North Arabian Sea, will be accompanied by the guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea and the guided-missile destroyer USS Truxtun, the statement said. It added the ships were expected to complete their transit into the Gulf later on Saturday.

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