Tags: uss mesa verde | persian gulf | iraq

USS Mesa Verde: Persian Gulf Destination for Ship as Iraq Tensions Rise

By    |   Monday, 16 Jun 2014 04:45 PM

The USS Mesa Verde is headed to the Persian Gulf as tensions with Iraq escalate and it becomes possible the United States will take action.

The amphibious transport dock ship joins other ships already in the Gulf, including the USS George H.W. Bush, an aircraft carrier.

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Rear Adm. John Kirby told The Associated Press that the Mesa Verde will give the U.S. “additional options to protect American citizens and interests in Iraq.” The ship carries Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft.

Sheikh Ahmed Abu Risha, a Sunni tribal leader working with the Iraqi government, told Bloomberg News that the United States needs to help.

“We’ve been fighting al-Qaida in Anbar for the past six months and we’re ready to fight for another six months, but we need American support,” he said in a phone interview Saturday. The U.S. “must take the decision to stage air strikes against the militants or send troops again to Iraq, even if it’s for a limited time.”

Iraq’s military battled Sunni Muslim insurgents in Baghdad over the weekend killing more than 279 people they labeled "terrorists" and destroying 50 of the group’s vehicles.

It's possible the United States could partner with Iran to stop militants in Iraq, but in an interview with Katie Couric on Yahoo News, Secretary of State John Kerry said, “Let’s see what Iran might or might not be willing to do before we start making any pronouncements.”

But he added in the interview, “I think we are open to any constructive process here that could minimize the violence, hold Iraq together — the integrity of the country — and eliminate the presence of outside terrorist forces that are ripping it apart."

Iraqi leaders are making the case for U.S. help. Iraqi Ambassador Lukman Faily told CNN, “What you have in Afghanistan, with one bin Laden – you will have a thousand of them. That’s the situation in Iraq.”

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The USS Mesa Verde is headed to the Persian Gulf as tensions with Iraq escalate and it becomes possible the United States will take action.
uss mesa verde, persian gulf, iraq
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2014-45-16
Monday, 16 Jun 2014 04:45 PM
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