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U.S. aircraft carrier repositioned in case needed in Iraq

Aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush will be repositioned to provide President Obama “additional flexibility” in Iraq, the Pentagon said Saturday.

U.S. aircraft carrier repositioned in case needed in Iraq-slide0
Photo by Handout/Getty Images
Aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush will be repositioned to provide President Obama “additional flexibility” in Iraq, the Pentagon said Saturday.
Aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush will be repositioned to provide President Obama “additional flexibility” in Iraq, the Pentagon said Saturday.Photo by U.S. Navy/Getty Images

The reason for this move because an Al Qaeda splinter group, known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant has threaten to its stability in the western region of Baghdad.

Obama reiterated Friday his administration would not send U.S. troops into combat. He made clear that U.S. involvement likely would be limited. It is Iraqi’s government to develop a “political plan” and make a “sincere effort” to resolve sectarian divisions.

“We can’t do it for them,” Obama said.

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel ordered the carrier to be moved Saturday from the North Arabian Sea to the Arabian Gulf. The ship is expected to arrive in the area Saturday evening. The aircraft carrier would be accompanied by a guided-missile cruiser and a guided-missile destroyer, Rear Adm. John Kirby said, a Pentagon press secretary. The Nimitz-class carrier has been in the region since February.

The ships carry Tomahawk missiles, which could reach Iraq. The Bush is carrying fighter jets that could also easily get to Iraq, where the fast-moving Islamic insurgency is gaining momentum to its territory.

Subsequently, hundreds of young Iraqi men volunteered across Baghdad, responding to its call by the country’s top Shiite cleric to join the fight against Sunni militants advancing in the north.

Dozens climbed into the back of army trucks, chanting Shiite slogans and hoisting assault rifles, ready to battle the ISIS, advancing its move across the country.

The massive response to the call by the Iranian-born Grand Ayatollah Ali-al-Sistani, issued through his representative Friday, a sectarian tension that would threaten to push the country back toward civil war since U.S. forces withdrew at the end of 2011.

“Given the current threat facing Iraq, defending the land, honor and holy places is a religious duty,” Ayatollah Sistani said, according to The Wall Street Journal.