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US To Move Aircraft Carrier Out Of Mideast Amid Iran Tension

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FILE - In this Sept. 7, 2020, file photo released by the U.S. Navy, the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz transits the Arabian Sea. The Pentagon announced Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020, that the USS Nimitz, the only Navy aircraft carrier operating in the Middle East, will return home to the U.S. West Coast. (Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Elliot Schaudt/U.S. Navy via AP)

(AP) — The Pentagon says it is sending home the only Navy aircraft carrier operating in the Middle East, amid heightened tensions with Iran. The decision reflects Navy concern that the USS Nimitz, which deployed from the U.S. in April, is already overdue to return. It had been extended most recently to provide support off the coast of Somalia for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from that Horn of Africa country. Officials responsible for U.S. military operations in the Middle East consider an aircraft carrier to be an important part of deterring Iran from potential attacks against U.S. forces or interests.

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