WASHINGTON (AP) – The Pentagon has decided to send home the only Navy aircraft carrier operating in the Middle East, a move that would reduce American firepower in the region amid intense tensions with Iran.
The decision, announced Thursday by Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller, comes a day after Air Force B-527 bombers flew from the United States into the Persian Gulf, military officials said, with the intention of taking precautions against Iran. U.S. To carry out attacks against forces or interests.
Sending an aircraft carrier, USS Nimitz, U.S. Home to the West Coast, one would disagree with the idea that a show of force is needed to stop Iran. This could reflect the divisions within the defense base as to whether Iran risks a strike in the weak days of the Trump administration.
Announcing his decision to send Nimitz home, Miller made no mention of Iran.
Earlier this week, a U.S. military official close to the situation told reporters that the U.S. had received indications that Iraq or other war zones in Iraq or elsewhere were preparing for possible attacks on U.S. or allied targets. That was the reason for sending two B-52 bombers from the United States to the Gulf for a short period of time on Wednesday, the official said on condition of anonymity to discuss internal assessments.
President Donald Trump recently cited “babble” that Iran would strike. Trump tweeted a few days after the December 20 rocket attack on the US embassy compound in Baghdad by Iranian-backed Shia military groups that Iran was on the alert.
“Some friendly health advice to Iran: I will hold Iran accountable if an American is killed. On December 23, Trump wrote, “Think of this. “We hear rumors of additional attacks against Americans in Iraq,” he added. “
U.S. concerns are tied to the January 3 approach. The 3rd anniversary of the American airstrikes that killed Iran’s top commander, General Qasem Solimani. Iran initially responded with a ballistic missile strike on a military base in neighboring Iraq that caused dozens of fatal brain injuries but no casualties among U.S. troops. But U.S. officials are concerned that Iran may be planning more retaliation.
Due to the possibility of expansion, which could lead to a comprehensive war, the United States has sought to prevent Iran from launching additional attacks. The strategic calculations of both parties and the political transition to Washington are further complicated by the Biden administration that could find new ways to deal with Iran. President-elect Joe Biden has said, for example, that he expects the U.S. to return to the 2015 agreement with world powers in which Iran agreed to limit its nuclear activities in exchange for lifting international sanctions.
USS Abraham Lincoln has been in the U.S. since he was sent in May 2019. It has maintained the presence of a nearby aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf region amid concerns that it is considering attacking U.S. interests in the region. The U.S. also sent additional ground-based attack planes and re-established a military presence in Saudi Arabia.
Nimitz was deployed from the U.S. in April and was due to return before the end of the year. In early December, its planned return was postponed, as part of concerns about potential Iranian threats, and most recently it was ordered to support the movement of American troops outside the country off the coast of Somalia.