Israel’s senior ministers confer urgently on Iran as US masses air-naval might in Middle East waters
Prime minister Ehud Olmert summoned defense minister Ehud Barak and foreign minister Tzipi Livni for an urgent consultation on Iran Wed. Sept. 10, as the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier headed out to the Mediterranean for missions “in support of maritime security.”
Its arrival will bring the number of US aircraft carriers in the Mediterranean, Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea to four, compared with two Russian warships. Most of the Russian fleet in the region is concentrated in the Black Sea whence it has easy and rapid access to Middle East waters.
The Roosevelt will be followed by its strike force, which includes the guided missile cruiser Monterey, the guided missile destroyers Mason and Nitze, with 7,300 sailors and marines aboard, and the attack submarine Springfield.
Our sources report that the USS Ronald Reagan carrier and its strike group began engaging in assault and support missions for US and NATO forces in Afghanistan on Aug. 28.
The Iwo Jima carrier group, whose decks carry 6,000 sailors, air crews and marines, supports the US Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean and Fifth Fleet in the Gulf with a massive amphibious capability.
The USS San Antonio amphibious transport dock ship is the first vessel of its class to be deployed in the region as a platform for supporting Marine movements and operations ashore.
The USS Peleliu carrier patrols the Red Sea and Indian Ocean. It is escorted by vessels carrying a large Marine contingent.
Monday, Iran launched a three-day naval-air-missile exercise to practice defense tactics for its nuclear sites.