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Iran Press TV

'US carrier deployment sends a message to Russia'

Iran Press TV

Thu Jun 9, 2016 5:0AM

The United States is sending Russia a message by deploying a new aircraft carrier strike group to the eastern Mediterranean, says a report.

The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group (IKE CSG) entered the US 6th Fleet area of operations in support of US national security interests in Europe, the US European Command (EUCOM) has announced.

The carrier's unplanned diversion from the Middle East to the eastern Mediterranean has been described as a clear message to Russia, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Since November, it has carried out many strikes against Daesh (ISIL) in Iraq and Syria.

The report quoted US Rear Admiral Bret Batchelder, the highest-ranking officer on the carrier, as telling reporters that the deployment was meant to reassure America's allies within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) of the US effort to maintain the balance of power in the Mediterranean.

"It is a demonstration of capability. That's for sure," he said. "There are undoubtedly folks who are watching that and this is just a graphic representation of what we're capable of."

The carrier replaces the USS Harry S. Truman, another US aircraft carrier, which was in the region for some eight months.

Meanwhile, an unnamed military official in Washington said the latest shift was a signal to Moscow and a show of the American Navy's capabilities.

"It provides some needed presence in the Med to check…the Russians," the official said. "The unpredictability of what we did with Truman kind of makes them think twice."

Russia has maintained a contingent of about 10 to 15 ships in the Mediterranean for three years over the conflict in Syria.

The US official added that the ship's position in the Mediterranean could help America and its allies to launch operations against ISIL in Libya.

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