April 13, 2018
A HUGE task force of US warships is heading to Syria as President Donald Trump bolsters his military firepower amid growing concerns about the imminent threat of war in the region.
Trump prepares for Syria WAR: US Navy warships head to the Med in HUGE show of force
Mr Trump’s armada of 12 warships is one of the biggest demonstrations of US naval power since the 2003 Iraq invasion.
The nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS Harry S Truman, which carried a staggering 90 aircraft, is being escorted by its five-strong strike group of cruisers and destroyers.
The USS Harry S Truman and its support ships were due to leave the Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia on Wednesday.
The support ships in tow are the guided missile cruiser USS Normandy and four destroyers: the USS Farragut, USS Bulkeley, USS Arleigh Burke and USS Forrest Sherman.
The German frigate GFS Hessen is among the strike group and it is believed to be the only type of ship in the Western world with three kinds of surface-to-air missiles as well as its radar having a detection range of more than 200 nautical miles.
Four destroyers are understood to be near or in the Mediterranean already – the USS Donald Cook, which is equipped with up to 60 Tomahawk missiles, as well as the USS Porter, USS Carney and USS Laboon.
They are accompanied by two nuclear-powered submarines, Georgia and John Warner.
Mr Trump is also considering launching air strikes on Syria in response to a suspected a chemical attack in Douma on Saturday, which left up to 70 people dead.
Trump prepares for Syria WAR: US Navy warships head to the Med in HUGE show of force
The Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad has supposedly moved military assets to Russian bases to deter the US and its allies from launching an airstrike near Vladimir Putin’s forces.
Russia has made threats to strike down any missiles using its powerful S-400 defence system if any were to be launched at Assad’s forces.
Today the US categorically accused Russia of aiding Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and a full response from President Trump is expected within 48 hours.
During the UN Security Council meeting today, the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, said the US government believes Assad’s forces have used chemical weapons at least 50 times during the seven-year conflict.
She said: “Our president has not yet made a decision about possible action in Syria. But should the United States and our allies decide to act in Syria, it will be in defence of a principle on which we all agree.
Trump prepares for Syria WAR: US Navy warships head to the Med in HUGE show of force
"All nations and all people will be harmed if we allow Assad to normalise the use of chemical weapons.”
She further slammed Russia for not stopping the Syrian regime.
She added: “Russia alone vetoed six times to condemn Assad. It is Russia alone that protects the Assad regime.
“If Russia had lived up to its commitments there would be no chemical weapons in Syria and we would not be here today.”
Trump prepares for Syria WAR: US Navy warships head to the Med in HUGE show of force
Mr Trump said a decision will be made “fairly soon”.
He said: “It's too bad that the world puts us in a position like that, but as I said this morning we've done a great job with ISIS.
“We have just absolutely decimated ISIS. But now we have to make some further decisions, so they'll be made fairly soon.”
And the US Defense Secretary James Mattis said no decisions had been made as the US is waiting for more evidence.
Trump prepares for Syria WAR: US Navy warships head to the Med in HUGE show of force
He said: “I believe there was a chemical attack and we are looking for the actual evidence.”
‘”As each day goes by – as you know, it is a non-persistent gas, so it becomes more and more difficult to confirm it.”
Last year Mr Trump ordered 59 Tomahawk strikes on a the Shayrat Airbase as a response to the chemical attack on the rebel-held Khan Sheikhun.
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