Washington, June 29 :
The US has sent another warship to the Persian Gulf with 1,000 marines on board as clashes between Iraqi forces and Islamic militants intensified Sunday, the media reported.
The USS Bataan will join seven other American warships — the USS Arleigh Burke, the USS Truxton, the USS Gunston Hall, the USS George HW Bush, the USS O’Kane, the USS Philippine Sea, and the USS Mesa Verde — in the Middle East, CNN reported.
American helicopters and warplanes have already been deployed in the strife-torn country and can be used for a military invasion.
The Pentagon announced Friday that US drones armed with Hellfire missiles are flying over Iraq to provide air support in case American troops in Baghdad come under attack, Press TV reported.
“We have the necessary forces not only to protect our own forces, but to be prepared should the President (Barack Obama) make a decision to do something more,” a senior Pentagon official was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, Iraqi security officials Sunday said that the army was in control of Tikrit’s military base where it has stationed its troops.
The northern Iraqi city of Tikrit fell into the hands of the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) militants earlier this month after they overran Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city.
The Iraqi Air Force also bombed several vehicles of ISIS in Anbar province. A militant base was also demolished there, Press TV said.
In Diyala province, Iraq’s armed forces along with tribal groups have started a massive operation against the ISIS terrorists.
Elsewhere in Baghdad’s western suburb of Amriya, Iraqi government forces managed to disband a terrorist cell.