US sends aircraft carrier to Middle East amid intensifying anti-IS campaign

Washington, Nov 17 (IANS) The Pentagon announced on Monday the USs Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier left for the Middle East in the latest deployment to assist the counterterrorism campaign in the region.

The deployment came just days after militants from the extremist group the Islamic State carried out well-coordinated attacks in French capital of Paris which killed at least 129 and wounded more than 350.

However, according to a statement by the US Navy, the deployment was planned long prior to the attacks.

“The current deployment is part of an on-going rotation of forward-deployed forces to support maritime security operations in the U.S. 6th and 5th Fleet areas of operation,” said the statement.

According to the US daily The Hill, which mainly covers news of the US Congress, Truman would join the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, whose departure was scheduled on November 18, in the Persian Gulf region to assist the campaign against the IS in Iraq and Syria.

Truman’s predecessor, the USS Theodore Roosevelt left the Persian Gulf last month and was responsible for 1,812 combat sorties totaling 10,618 combat flight hours in the US-led anti-IS campaign, according to data from the U.S. Navy Institute.

Truman has a crew of about 3,000, and with the embarked air wing and staffs, the number rises to about 5,000.

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