The U.S. government has ordered the U.S.S. Nimitz and its strike group to return to the Persian Gulf to serve in a defensive capacity.
According to reports, the development comes as U.S. forces in the region continue to drawdown during the final weeks of the Trump administration. The deployment also coincides with rising tensions in the region between U.S. allies and Iran after a top Iranian nuclear scientist was taken out in a highly coordinated hit this week.
Commander Rebecca Rebarich, spokeswoman for the U.S. Navy’s Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet, said in a statement, “There were no specific threats that triggered the return of the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group.This action ensures we have sufficient capability available to respond to any threat and to deter any adversary from acting against our troops during the force reduction.”
CNN reported, “The official said the move was decided before news came of the assassination of a prominent Iranian nuclear scientist. But the movement of the US forces is an increased deterrence message to Iran regardless the official noted.”
“The movement puts increased American military firepower and thousands of personnel into the region through the end of the Trump Administration. It may be up to President-elect Joe Biden to decide when to withdraw them.”