U.S. assault ships clear Suez, enter Mediterranean

WASHINGTON Wed Mar 2, 2011 2:49pm EST

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two U.S. amphibious assault ships have reached the Mediterranean Sea, a U.S. official said on Wednesday, as Washington intensifies pressure on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to end his four-decade rule.

The USS Ponce and the USS Kearsarge, assault ships that typically carry Marines, cleared the Suez Canal from the Red Sea and entered the Mediterranean, the official said on condition of anonymity.

The United States also has an aircraft carrier, the USS Enterprise, in the Red Sea but military officials have not said whether it will be sent to the Mediterranean.

The Obama administration has said all options are on the table to deal with the Libya crisis but the Pentagon may be reluctant to launch any new military action as it grapples with the costs of ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

(Reporting by Missy Ryan; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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Comments (21)
Waste of tax payers money for the marines to see both sides of the Suez Canal – the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea.

Mar 02, 2011 3:00pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Kazman82 wrote:
If they need to prove their weapons on the way to Libya, I think there are a couple of nice little Iranian sitting ducks off Syria!!!

Mar 02, 2011 3:24pm EST  --  Report as abuse
NukerDoggie wrote:
Muammar Cadaver understands only one thing – force. If this ship movement by the U.S. is an attempt to show “we’re serious”, it’s going to be an utter failure. The U.S. is either going to have to really kick ass in Libya or else butt out. Is Mr. Obama up to it? Is that what the U.S. really should be doing – taking out dictators so who-knows-what-kind-of-radicals can set up shop in their place? Gonna do this in Tehran, too? Seems to me that no matter what the U.S. does (or doesn’t do) now, it’s bad for U.S. strategic interests in the entire region. It’s lose-lose now, and the U.S. only has the choice of what particular kind of poison it likes the taste of.

Mar 02, 2011 3:26pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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