|[Published: Sunday May 12 2019]
US sends Patriots, warship to Middle East
WASHINGTON 12 May (ANA) - The US government has approved the deployment of a Patriot missile defence battery and another warship to the Middle East amid increasing tensions between the US and Iran.
The USS Arlington, which transports marines, amphibious vehicles, and rotary aircraft, as well as the Patriot missiles, will join the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group, which already passed through Egypt's Suez Canal on Thursday, and is currently sailing in the Red Sea, according to CNN.
The US says the deployments of military hardware to the region comes in response to "heightened Iranian readiness to conduct offensive operations".
The Patriot missile system is a defence mechanism against aircraft, drones, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles, and is currently deployed in Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
"The Acting Secretary of Defense has approved the movement of USS Arlington (LPD-24) and a Patriot battery to US Central Command (CENTCOM) as part of the command's original request for forces from earlier this week," a Pentagon statement said.
Earlier in the week, a US air force bomber task force, including B-52 bombers, also arrived at the US airbase Al Udeid in Qatar, US Central Command said.
"The Department of Defense continues to closely monitor the activities of the Iranian regime, their military and proxies. Due to operational security, we will not discuss timelines or location of forces. The United States does not seek conflict with Iran, but we are postured and ready to defend US forces and interests in the region," the statement added.(ANA)
FA/ANA/12 May 2019-----