US sends fifth destroyer to eastern Med: Official
Washington: The US Navy has deployed a fifth destroyer to the eastern Mediterranean, a defense official said on Thursday, as expectations grow of an imminent strike on Syria.
The USS Stout, a guided missile destroyer, is "in the Mediterranean, heading and moving east" to relieve the Mahan, said the official, who said both ships might remain in place for the time being.
Other destroyers in the region, the Ramage, the Barry and the Gravely, criss-cross the Mediterranean and could launch their Tomahawk missiles toward Syria if so directed by US President Barack Obama.
The defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, did not say how long the Mahan would stay in the area before returning to its home port of Norfolk, Virginia, which it left in December 2012.
It is normal for three destroyers to patrol the Mediterranean under the authority of the US Sixth Fleet, primarily in an anti-missile defense role.
The US Navy keeps as a closely guarded secret the number of Tomahawk missiles that each ship carries but it is estimated to be 45.
The US defense official also indicated that the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz and its escorts remain in the area of the US Fifth Fleet, which extends from the Red Sea to the Gulf and Arabian Sea.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, currently on a week-long trip to Southeast Asia, told the BBC that US forces were in place and "ready to go" if Obama gives the order but no such decision has yet been made.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Olympic bronze medallist Sakshi Malik returns home from Rio to grand welcome!
- Rahul Gandhi takes U-turn, says never blamed RSS for Gandhi's assassination
- Secret documents on Indian Navy's Scorpene-class submarine leaked
- PM Modi's photos, Indian flags raised during massive protests in Balochistan
- Did India become victim of Scorpene submarine conspiracy?
- England won't force players to tour Bangladesh, says skipper Eoin Morgan
- Uttar Pradesh Speaker to decide on disqualification of Swamy Prasad Maurya
- Public figures must face criticism, don't misuse state machinery: SC to J Jayalalithaa
- Xiaomi Redmi 3S, 3S Prime go out of stock within minutes of sale; next sale on August 31
- Premier League: Petr Cech calls on Arsenal to stop making 'silly' losses