WASHINGTON, June 15 — Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel ordered dispatch of aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush to the Arabian Gulf Saturday as insurgents from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) take more territory in Iraq.
The carrier will arrive in the Arabian Gulf Saturday evening with a guided-missile cruiser and destroyer, according to a statement from Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby.
Kirby said, “The order will provide the Commander-in-Chief additional flexibility should military options be required to protect American lives, citizens and interests in Iraq.”
The ship carries Tomahawk missiles along with fighter jets that could reach Iraq, according to media reports.