US Extends Carrier Deployment To Provide Military "Options" In Syria
Following last week's deadly attacks on US bases in northeast Syria by what the Pentagon called pro-Iran forces, the United States has announced an extension of the George HW Bush Carrier Strike Group's deployment in the Mediterranean region.
"The extension of the George HW Bush Carrier Strike Group, inclusive of the USS Leyte Gulf, the USS Delbert D. Black, and the USNS Arctic, allows options to potentially bolster the capabilities of CENTCOM to respond to a range of contingencies in the Middle East," US Central Command (CENTCOM) spokesman Colonel Joe Buccino said Friday.
The George HW Bush carrier is currently near Italy and Sicily. Like with prior US military intervention in Syria, for example the major anti-government strikes on Damascus and elsewhere in 2017 and 2018 under the Trump administration, the Pentagon typically launches missiles from the Mediterranean.
According to Reuters, "Buccino also noted a scheduled, expedited deployment of a squadron of A-10 attack aircraft to the region."
"One U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Bush strike group was expected to remain in the European Command area of responsibility," the report continues.
Last Thursday, US forces mounted attacks against Iranian-linked groups in Syria after a US contractor was killed and five military service members and another US contractor were wounded in a drone strike conducted by an unknown group.
But the Pentagon has now revised the number of American wounded upward to 12, citing "traumatic brain injuries", per CNN:
Six US service members have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries as a result of attacks from Iran-backed groups in Syria last week.
Four US troops at the coalition base near al Hasakah that was attacked on March 23 by a suspected Iranian drone, and two service members at Mission Support Site Green Village attacked on March 24, have been identified as having brain injuries in screening since the attacks, Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder said Thursday.
Gen. Ryder explained, "As standard procedure, all personnel in the vicinity of a blast are screened for traumatic brain injuries." He added: "So these additional injuries were identified during post-attack medical screenings."
Warmongers in both parties say keeping troops in Syria is necessary to preserve the balance of power.— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) March 24, 2023
That is simply not true.
If they believe that, they should say it directly to the parents of Americans in Syria who have to sleep there tonight and guard oil fields against… https://t.co/YcFNoKkwQB pic.twitter.com/0SJBtjFzW2
Traumatic brain injuries among US troops were last reported on a large-scale in February 2020 after Iran launched cruise missiles on an American base in neighboring Iraq, in retaliation for the Jan. 3rd US killing of IRGC General Qassem Soleimani in drone strike at the Baghdad airport.