A US warship is moving toward Syria, though it has not yet received any order from Washington to back a potential strike on the Arab country, a report says.
The USS Nimitz aircraft carrier is moving westward toward the Red Sea, according to ABC News. A defense official has confirmed that the warship is now moving closer to Syria but declined to give a specific location, AFP reported on Monday. The carrier was set to head back to its home port in Everett, Washington, after a months-long deployment to the Arabian Sea when it reportedly received orders to stay in the area, the report said. Five US aircraft carriers, The USS Stout, Mahan, Ramage, Barry and Graveley, are now positioned in eastern Mediterranean waters, ready to fire cruise missiles against Syria if President Barack Obama gives the order. Obama has delayed the threat of missile strikes, saying he would seek formal approval from Congress after lawmakers return from recess on September 9. The American intelligence community claimed that Damascus used chemical weapons during an August 21 attack against foreign-backed militants. The Syrian government categorically denied the accusation. Now the US military is preparing to launch strikes on targets in Syria in response to the alleged attack. Former US congressman Ron Paul has said the reported attack was a “false flag” likely carried out by the US-backed militant groups who have been fighting Syrian government forces for that past two and a half years. “We are not really positive who set off the gas,” Paul, a long-time Republican representative from Texas, said during a Fox News interview filmed Wednesday. “The group that is most likely to benefit from that is al-Qaeda. They ignite some gas, some people die and blame it on Assad,” he noted.