3rd US aircraft carrier heads to the gulf

3rd US aircraft carrier heads to the gulffrom afp: Another US Navy aircraft carrier is heading towards the Middle East, boosting the number of the giant warships in the region to three, the navy said in a statement on Tuesday.

The nuclear-powered USS Enterprise and its strike group will join the USS John C. Stennis and USS Nimitz in the navy’s Fifth Fleet area of operation, which includes Gulf waters off Iran.

“The Enterprise is heading to Fifth Fleet waters and is not replacing any other ships in the area,” a US Navy spokesperson told AFP without elaborating.

The US Navy has significantly beefed up its presence in the region recently amid growing concerns in the West that Iran is secretly developing a nuclear weapons programme — an accusation Tehran strongly denies.

The Enterprise “provides navy power to counter the assertive, disruptive and coercive behaviour of some countries, as well as support (to) our soldiers and marines in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Vice Admiral Kevin Cosgriff said in the statement.

“Regular deployments of the strike groups to the Middle East are not designed to provoke any of the Gulf countries,” it added.