US flotilla enters Persian Gulf - Tucson News Now

US flotilla enters Persian Gulf

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Planes, and warships armed with cruise missiles, have the range to reach targets deep inside Iraq. (Source: CBS) Planes, and warships armed with cruise missiles, have the range to reach targets deep inside Iraq. (Source: CBS)

WASHINGTON, DC (CBS) - One of the options being presented to President Obama calls for sending teams of special forces back into Iraq. They would not go into the field to fight alongside Iraqi troops but train and advise them in an effort to recapture some of the territory lost to insurgents.

A small flotilla of ships led by the USS Bush is in the Persian Gulf ready to carry out strikes designed to break the momentum of Sunni militias surging through northern Iraq. Four other warships are armed with cruise missiles which have the range to reach targets deep inside Iraq.

Over the weekend, the Pentagon sent 275 soldiers and Marines from bases in the Persian Gulf into Baghdad to beef up security at the American Embassy.

And on Monday the amphibious carrier Mesa Verde with 550 Marines and Osprey vertical takeoff and landing aircraft sailed into the gulf in case the U.S. State Department orders the embassy evacuated.

Sending special forces into Iraq would amount to a limited restart of the training that ended when the last American troops left Iraq. But trainers can't accomplish much if the Iraqi army is not willing to stand and fight.

Copyright 2014 CBS. All rights reserved.

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