US aircraft carrier deployment to Gulf ‘unrelated to specific threats’

US aircraft carrier USS Nimitz was deployed to the Gulf this week. (File/AFP)
Short Url
Updated 28 November 2020

US aircraft carrier deployment to Gulf ‘unrelated to specific threats’

DUBAI: US aircraft carrier USS Nimitz was deployed to the Gulf this week, days before the killing of Iran’s top nuclear scientist, although the US Navy said on Saturday the deployment was not related to any specific threat.
“There were no specific threats that triggered the return of the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group,” Commander Rebecca Rebarich, spokeswoman for the US Navy’s Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet, said in an emailed statement after the carrier deployed on Wednesday.
Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the Iranian scientist suspected by the West of masterminding a secret nuclear bomb program, was killed in an ambush near Tehran on Friday, threatening to provoke a new confrontation between Iran and its foes in the last weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency.
Rebarich said the redeployment was related to a US drawdown in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“This action ensures we have sufficient capability available to respond to any threat and to deter any adversary from acting against our troops during the force reduction,” she said.


Syrian Air makes first Aleppo to Beirut flight since 2011

Updated 15 January 2021

Syrian Air makes first Aleppo to Beirut flight since 2011

  • Syrian Air said a weekly flight between Aleppo and Beirut will continue
  • Syria’s conflict began in March 2011 and has killed nearly half a million people

BEIRUT: Syrian Air conducted its first flight in a decade between the northern city of Aleppo and Lebanon’s capital Beirut early Friday, resuming a round-trip route that’s been halted since Syria’s conflict began in 2011.
Precautionary measures against the coronavirus were in place, with passengers required to show PCR tests taken less than three days before the flight, according to Syria’s state news agency SANA.
The head of Syrian Air in Lebanon, Rashed Attar, said the flight arrived in Beirut carrying 36 passengers and returned to Aleppo with 44 passengers. Attar said a weekly flight between Aleppo and Beirut will continue.
Syrian Air currently conducts three flights a week between the Syrian capital of Damascus and Beirut.
Aleppo, Syria’s largest city and its former commercial center, had its airport closed for years because of the conflict. The city was divided until late 2016, when government forces captured rebel-held eastern parts of Aleppo.
Syria’s conflict began in March 2011 and has killed nearly half a million people. The fighting has displaced half the country’s population, including more than five million who are refugees outside the country.