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More US Warships Arrive In The Mideast Even As Trump Signals Draw Down

More US Warships Arrive In The Mideast Even
As Trump Signals Draw Down Despite Trump taking to Twitter Monday morning
to question, “why are we protecting the shipping lanes for other countries (many years) for
zero compensation,” and asserting further that “All of these countries should be protecting
their own ships” — the US naval build-up in the Persian Gulf region continues. The US Navy confirmed early Monday that more
military ships have arrived in the US 5th Fleet area of responsibility, which includes
the Persian Gulf and Middle East waters. Though not pinpointing their exact location,
the additional deployment which comes in the wake of last week’s US drone shoot down by
Iran, that saw Washington coming very close to launching major strikes in response, is
described in Navy statements as including a major amphibious assault ship and two support
vessels: Monday’s Navy statement says the USS Boxer
amphibious assault ship, along with the amphibious transport dock USS John P. Murtha and the
amphibious dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry arrived in the 5th Fleet’s area of responsibility. USS Boxer Amphibious Assault Ship. Image source: US Navy The AP notes that the the USS Boxer carries
the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit and a combat helicopter squadron, and departed the US west
coast at the start of May as part of a regularly scheduled deployment; however, it’s quick
transition to the 5th Fleet area is in support of the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike
group already there in response to Iran. The new military arrivals to the region came
just as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Saudi King Salman and separately
with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the port city of Jeddah to tackle the escalating
crisis with Iran in the Persian Gulf. The Navy’s futuristic looking amphibious transport
dock, John P. Murtha. Image source: Naval Sea Systems Command/Huntington
Ingalls Industries Pompeo has described his hastily arranged
visit as focused on putting together an international coalition against Iran, and further that it
will coincide with new US sanctions on Tehran, expected to be announced at some point Monday. USS Harper’s Ferry The visit also comes just as Iran’s military
has threatened to shoot down more US drones should they violate Iran’s airspace. Both the Saudis and the Israelis have pushed
for a more muscular US response to “Iranian aggression” in the region, thus both MbS and
Netanyahu must have been deeply disappointed that last Thursday night’s readied American
military response never materialized. By all appearances, despite Trump’s clear
preference to no longer be engaged in “protecting the shipping lanes for other countries” while
receiving “zero compensation” in return, it appears the US Navy is prepared to continue
doing just that.

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