With the security situation deteriorating in Iraq, the Pentagon announced that it would send an aircraft carrier into the Persian Gulf to afford the United States a military option. From the Pentagon statement:
The order will provide the Commander-in-Chief additional flexibility should military options be required to protect American lives, citizens and interests in Iraq."
The U.S.S. George H.W. Bush is the carrier getting the call, which is fitting since the first American adventure in Iraq came at the behest of the elder Bush. It's a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, meaning not only is it one of the largest warships in the world, but it is also powered by two nuclear reactors.
Aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush accompanied by guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea + destroyer USS Truxtun en route to Arabian Gulf.— Julie (@MsIntervention) June 14, 2014
Meanwhile, the news out of Iraq today was mixed with reports of the radical Sunni militants of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) remaining just shy of Baghdad after their dramatic offensive stalled. From the Times:
The rebel leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who had boasted that he would soon take the capital and press on to the Shiite heartland in southern Iraq, fell silent as his followers worked to consolidate their gains in predominantly Sunni parts of the country, instead of trying to fight their way through more heavily defended, Shiite-dominated areas."
Meanwhile, graphic photos of mass execution of 1,700 Shiite Iraqis by ISIS made their way around the internet, disseminated in part by ISIS itself.
ISIS is helpfully documenting it's horrendous crimes in Iraq. I hope the lawyers are cataloguing it for the crimes against humanity trials.— joshuafoust (@joshuafoust) June 14, 2014
With the events still unfolding, the arrival of a U.S. aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf may not signal the end of American activity there.
Earnest says Pres Obama would be updated further as his national security team works through the weekend on US options in Iraq.— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) June 14, 2014
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.