CNN is reporting that the USS Bataan is being sent to the Persian Gulf with 1,000 marines on board. There is no word of a planned invasion. That will make seven warships there — the USS Arleigh Burke, the USS Truxton, the USS Gunston Hall, the USS George HW Bush, the USS O’Kane, the USS Philippine Sea, and the USS Mesa Verde — along with helicopters and warplanes that can be used for an invasion or for an evacuation of US citizens.
There have been US drones flying over Iraq for several days, but now it’s been confirmed that the drones are armed with Hellfire missiles to provide air support and force protection in case the 180 or so US military advisors currently in Baghdad come under attack. CNN and Politico
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