While Congress debates on military intervention in Syria, the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier, along with four other U.S. naval ships, moved in to the Red Sea on Monday.
U.S. defense officials have described the move as "prudent planning" in case the ships are needed for military action against Syria. ABC News reported that the ships entered the Red Sea early Monday morning, but there have been no official orders to move into the Mediterranean Sea where five U.S. destroyers and an amphibious ship are currently waiting, poised for missile strikes against Syria.
The USS Nimitz is nuclear-powered and accompanied by the Princeton, a cruiser, and three destroyers including the William P. Lawrence, the Stockdale, and the Shoup. The destroyers are carrying a combined total of 200 Tomahawk missiles. U.S. officials have claimed that a strike on Syria could be accomplished with half that number.
The U.S. Navy doubled its presence in the eastern Mediterranean last week in preparation for possible strikes against Syria. Over the weekend, President Obama backed off from immediate strikes, stating that he would wait for approval from Congress before moving forward.