BEIRUT, LEBANON (7:30 A.M.) – The U.S. made the decision to deploy an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf on Monday morning to protect their forces from a potential Iranian attack, a defense official told the Associated Press.
According to the AP report, the reason for the deployment of the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln to the Persian Gulf was due to “clear indications” that Iranian forces were preparing an assault on the U.S. forces in the Middle East region.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive information, said the Pentagon approved the deployments and that U.S. forces at sea and on land were thought to be the potential targets. The official declined to be more specific.
U.S. national security adviser, John Bolton, announced on Sunday evening that the U.S. Navy was deploying the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the U.S. Central Command region, an area that includes the Middle East.
Bolton said the move was in response to “a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings.” He didn’t provide details, but said the US wants to send a message that “unrelenting force” will meet any attack on US interests or those of its allies.
“The United States is not seeking war with the Iranian regime, but we are fully prepared to respond to any attack, whether by proxy, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or regular Iranian forces,” he said.
Last week, the U.S. Ambassador to Russia, Jon Huntsman, traveled on the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln to also send a message, but this time it was intended for Moscow.
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Huntsman said he wanted to let Russia know that their behavior would not be tolerated, especially after their interventions in Syrian, Venezuelan, and Ukrainian affairs.