US aircraft carrier arrives in Middle East

U.S. Navy photo

A U.S. aircraft carrier passed through the Suez Canal on Tuesday, creating a presence that will allow the U.S. to ramp up airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).  

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The USS Harry S. Truman is due to arrive in the Persian Gulf right around Christmas, where it will begin striking the terrorist group, a Navy official told The Hill.

The Truman and its accompanying carrier strike group will join the French aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle in the Gulf, which arrived earlier this month. 

"Certainly we've said we plan, particularly with regards to Syria, to thicken the air campaign and you've seen that," Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said at a press briefing on Wednesday. 

"I think there's a continued effort to want to do that, absolutely," he said. 

The U.S. has steadily increased airstrikes against ISIS, with November hitting a high of 3,271 bombs, according to U.S. Central Command statistics. 

The Truman's arrival also marks the end of a gap in which the U.S. didn't have an aircraft carrier in the region. The USS Theodore Roosevelt left in early October. 

 

-- Updated 12/16/15 at 12:48 p.m.