U.S. Sends Aircraft Carrier Strike Group to Middle East After Indications That Iran Planned Attack On American Forces

The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln conducts a replenishment-at-sea with the fast combat support ship USNS Arctic, April 12, 2019 in the Atlantic ocean. (U.S. Navy)
The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln conducts a replenishment-at-sea with the fast combat support ship USNS Arctic, April 12, 2019 in the Atlantic ocean. (U.S. Navy)

The United States is deploying an aircraft carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the Middle East on short notice in response to “clear indications” Iran and Iranian proxies were planning an attack on U.S. forces in the region, a U.S. official said.

Late Sunday night, the White House made a surprise announcement that the USS Abraham Lincoln and a bomber task force were being deployed in response to unspecified “troubling and escalatory indications and warnings.”

A statement from National Security Adviser John Bolton said the deployments were intended “to send a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime that any attack on United States interests or on those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force.”

“The United States is not seeking war with the Iranian regime, but we are fully prepared to respond to any attack, whether by proxy, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or regular Iranian forces,” the statement continued.

A U.S. official told ABC News the deployments were in response to “clear indications” Iranian and Iranian proxy forces were preparing for a possible attack, and that the decision to send forces was made on Sunday.

“The movement of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln to the region was expedited, and it was ordered there effective immediately,” said the official.

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SOURCE: LUIS MARTINEZ and MERIDITH MCGRAW
ABC News