USS Truman airborne strike group in place opposite Syria

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DEBKAfile

 

In position off the Syrian coast is the nuclear-powered USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier – from which the US, UK and France launched their April 14 attack on the Syrian army for launching a chemical attack. The US Navy strike group entered the eastern Mediterranean over last weekend. US task force commander Rear Adm. Eugene Black announced that its arrival “sends a powerful signal to our partners that we are committed to maintaining peace and security in the region and everywhere that there is a threat of terrorism.” Continue reading

Chinese Submarine Practiced Missile Attack on USS Reagan

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A Chinese nuclear submarine sails past Yalong Bay / AP

 

Cruise missile targeting of carrier risked naval shootout

A Chinese attack submarine conducted a simulated cruise missile attack on the aircraft carrier USS Reagan during a close encounter several weeks ago, according to American defense officials.

The targeting incident near the Sea of Japan in October violated China’s 2014 commitment to the multinational Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea, known as CUES, designed to reduce the risk of a shooting incident between naval vessels, said officials familiar with details of the encounter they described as “serious.” Continue reading

U.S. carrier crosses Hormuz amid rising Gulf tensions

A U.S. aircraft carrier strike group sailed through the Strait of Hormuz Tuesday more than a month after Iran warned a different carrier — USS John C. Stennis — not to return to the Gulf as Iranian navy boats sailed by.

Iran has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, used for a third of the world’s seaborne oil trade, if Western moves to ban Iranian crude exports cripple its energy sector.

Tuesday aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln — part of the Bahrain-based U.S. Fifth Fleet — sailed through the strait of Hormuz with the Cape St George destroyer cruising behind.

Full article: U.S. carrier crosses Hormuz amid rising Gulf tensions (Reuters)

Iran ‘definitely’ closing Strait of Hormuz over EU oil embargo

With the looming EU embargo against Iranian oil, the Islamic Republic has responded. Turn up the middle eastern threats escalations another notch.

Tensions in the Gulf could reach a breaking point as a senior Iranian official said Iran would “definitely” close the Strait of Hormuz if an EU oil embargo disrupted the export of crude oil.

Mohammad Kossari, deputy head of parliament’s foreign affairs and national security committee, issued the warning in respone to a decision by the European Union on Monday  to impose an oil embargo on Iran over the country’s alleged nuclear weapons program.

“The pressure of sanctions is designed to try and make sure that Iran takes seriously our request to come to the table,” EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said.

However, with Washington’s decision to deploy a second carrier strike group in the Gulf, the EU’s attempt to pressure Iran economically could greatly increase the likelihood of all-out war in the region.

The Strait of Hormuz is the vital link between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.

It is also one of the most strategic chokepoints in the world when it comes to oil transit.

Continue reading article: Iran ‘definitely’ closing Strait of Hormuz over EU oil embargo (Russia Today)