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foreign affairs

U.S. sends aircraft carrier to Persian Gulf as Obama weighs options in Iraq

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on Saturday ordered an aircraft carrier into the Persian Gulf to bolster the United States' military presence in the region as Iraq drifted deeper into chaos. The carrier, the USS George H. W. Bush, was flanked on its trip by a guided-missile destroyer and a guided-missile cruiser.

The move, which gives the U.S. a launching pad for air strikes in Iraq, came one day after President Obama ruled out a ground campaign to combat the insurgent jihadist forces that seized parts of Iraq last week.