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Libya: US moves Carrier with fighters

News18test sharma |

Updated: March 1, 2011, 1:42 PM IST
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Libya: US moves Carrier with fighters
The move was described by Pentagon as tools to provide "a full range of options to its leaders".

Washington: Terming it as a "show of force", US has moved its naval warships and fighter planes into the Mediterranean region as the situation in strife-torn North African nation of Libya plunged to a near civil war.

The move by the navy and air force was described by Pentagon as tools to provide "a full range of options to its leaders".

US officials were tight-lipped about the build-up refusing to divulge details, but media reports quoted officials as saying that it could be seen as a "show of force" to the Gaddafi regime.

ABC News said that amphibious ship USS Kearsarge had left the Red Sea to transit through Suez Canal into the Mediterranean, close to Libya.

USS Kearsarge has armed helicopters and harrier jets on board as well as around 700 Marines.

ABC also said that aircraft carrier USS Enterprise had also been kept on 'high standby alert' in the Red Sea, though it had not been given orders to move into Mediterranean yet.

The Carrier has just transited through the Suez Canal a few weeks back from Mediterranean after serving a six month deployment in the Centcom area.

Reports said the Carrier could potentially carry out the enforcement of a no-fly zone if ordered from the Red Sea itself, but could also be move to Mediterranean.

So far, the UN and NATO have not decided to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya, though concerns have heightened after Libyan Air Force started targeting civilian targets in eastern Libya held by the anti-Gaddafi rebels.

US officials described the movement of warships and fighters as "repositioning of forces" to provide options to President Barack Obama.

ABC said US military planners are working on contingency planning for whatever might be needed with respect to Libya. US Defence Department Spokesman Col Dave Lapan told reporters, "We have planners working various contingency
plans. It's safe to say as a part of that, we're re-positioning forces to provide for that flexibility. We are re-positioning forces in the region to be able provide options and flexibility once decisions is made".

"It goes back to having a full range of options available. So those forces could be used in any number of ways. Re-positioning them provides that flexibility so they can be used if needed," Lapan said.

The US naval and air force assets, he said are being moved towards Libya, he said. "Yes" he said when specifically asked if the re-positioning of US troops was taking place around Libya. "We are re-positioning assets in the region. It is an evolving situation," he reiterated without providing any specific details.

First Published: March 1, 2011, 1:42 PM IST
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