Iranian official: USS Lincoln in Arabian Sea

May 17, 2019 - 21:36

TEHRAN - An Iranian official has said that the USS Abraham Lincoln is stationed in the Arabian Sea and not moving towards the Persian Gulf. Earlier this week, the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) said its forces in the region had been placed on “high alert,” but no evidence was presented to justify the elevated security posture.

Among the warships in the Lincoln Strike group are the guided-missile destroyers USS Bainbridge (DDG-96), USS Mason (DDG-87), and USS Nitze (DDG-94) and the guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG-55).

Mehr news agency on Wednesday reported an unnamed, “informed” official in the information office of the General Staff of Armed Forces of Iran as saying the recent U.S. moves in the region are concerned with the safety of U.S. forces themselves.

The official dismissed as psychological warfare Washington claims that the U.S. forces were moving to the area because of high alert regarding Iran.

In addition to the dozens of F-18 Super Hornet jets aboard the aircraft carrier, the strike group’s other warships hold hundreds of Tomahawk cruise missiles ready to strike if any U.S. forces are attacked, FoxNews on Thursday reported U.S. officials as saying.

On Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called for Patrick Shanahan, acting defense secretary, and the U.S. military’s top officer, Marine Gen. Joe Dunford, to testify publicly before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Iran by the end of the week to explain the sudden military build-up and what intelligence assessment led this escalation.

Officials told Fox News on Thursday both Pentagon leaders are resisting calls to brief lawmakers this week and will do so next week as originally planned.