The U.S. aircraft carrier sent by the Trump administration to the Middle East amid strains with Iran has not yet entered the Persian Gulf in an effort to cool tensions between the two countries, The Associated Press reported.
The USS Abraham Lincoln on Monday was 200 miles off the Oman coast in the Arabian Sea, according to the AP. The carrier would still need to pass through the Gulf of Oman and the Strait of Hormuz before reaching the Persian Gulf.
The Navy would not comment on why the carrier hadn’t gone into the Persian Gulf and would only say they are ready to launch any mission.
“You don’t want to inadvertently escalate something,” the Lincoln’s commanding officer Capt. Putnam Browne told the AP.
The U.S. forces could “conduct my mission wherever and whenever needed,” Rear Adm. John Wade, the commander of the carrier strike group, said when asked about why the Lincoln hadn’t entered the Persian Gulf.
“They do impose a threat to our operations, but also to the safety and security of commerce and trade going through the Strait of Hormuz and that’s why we are here,” he said.
The White House last month ordered the sped-up deployment of the carrier strike group to the region along with a B-52 bomber task force in response to what the administration called “troubling and escalatory indications and warnings” from Iran.
Tensions have worsened between Washington and Tehran since President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump criticizes Justice for restoring McCabe's benefits Biden: Those who defy Jan. 6 subpoenas should be prosecuted Hillicon Valley — Presented by LookingGlass — Hackers are making big money MORE pulled America out of Iran’s nuclear deal last year and imposed sanctions on the nation.
The Navy has since conducted an exercise with the strike group in the Arabian Sea and also ordered hundreds of additional troops to the area.