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The flagship of Nimitz Carrier Strike Group, USS Nimitz (CVN 68), transits the Philippine Sea during dual carrier operation with Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (CSG) Photo Credit: U.S. Pacific Fleet

CNN quoted a Pentagon official as saying on Friday evening that the aircraft carrier, U.S.S. Nimitz, had moved to the Gulf region with other warships.

The network reported that the transfer of the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Nimitz to the Persian Gulf region, along with other warships, is taking place with the aim of providing combat support and air cover with the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq and Afghanistan by January 15.

“Just In: The aircraft carrier USS Nimitz is being moved back into the Persian Gulf region along with other warships to provide combat support and air cover as US troops withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan by January 15 under President Trump’s orders a defense official tells CNN,” CNN’s Barbara Starr reported.

The official indicated that this was under orders from President Donald Trump.

The official emphasized that the step was taken before news of the assassination of a prominent Iranian nuclear scientist.

“The official said the move was decided before news came of the assassination of a prominent Iranian nuclear scientist. But the movement of the US forces is an increased deterrence message to Iran regardless the official noted,” Starr said.

CNN added that the U.S. naval movements are a message of increasing deterrence to Iran, regardless of the official’s remark.