US aircraft carrier USS Nimitz joins fellow ships in the Red Sea

September 2, 2013 17:01

WASHINGTON - The USS Nimitz aircraft carrier and four other ships in its strike group moved into the Red Sea early on Monday, US defense officials said, describing the move as "prudent planning" in case the ships are needed for military action against Syria.

The officials said the Nimitz entered the Red Sea around 6 a.m. EDT (1000 GMT), but the strike group had not received any orders to move into the Mediterranean, where five US destroyers and an amphibious ship remain poised for possible cruise missile strikes against Syria.

Moving the Nimitz into the Red Sea was aimed at putting more US assets in place if they are needed to support what US officials still describe as a limited attack against Syria after it used chemical weapons against civilians.

"It does place that strike group in a position to respond to a variety of contingencies," said one official, who was not authorized to speak publicly.

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