The US military warships are reportedly staying in the eastern Mediterranean as President Barack Obama is waiting for a congressional approval to attack Syria.
A defense official told Politico that the five American guided-missile destroyers and one amphibious transport are going to continue to stay in place for now.
The USS Stout, USS Gravely, USS Mahan, USS Barry and USS Ramage are all in the region with dozens of Tomahawk cruise missiles.
The amphibious transport USS San Antonio, which is carrying about 700 troops from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, is also there along with some of their aircraft and amphibious equipment.
On Saturday, the Obama White House asked Congress for authorization to conduct military strikes against Syria.
“The objective of the United States use of military force in connection with this authorization should be to deter, disrupt, prevent and degrade the potential for future uses of chemical weapons or other weapons of mass destruction,” the White House said in a draft resolution.
Washington accuses Damascus of launching a chemical weapons attack on militant strongholds in the suburbs of Damascus last week, an allegation denied by the Syrian government.
President Obama also said the US military “has positioned assets in the region.”
Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey “has informed me that we are prepared to strike whenever we choose. Moreover, the chairman has indicated to me that our capacity to execute this mission is not time-sensitive; it will be effective tomorrow, or next week, or one month from now. And I’m prepared to give that order,” Obama said.
Reacting to US allegations, Russian President Vladimir Putin said it would have been “utter nonsense” for Syria to use chemical weapons.
“I would like to address Obama as a Nobel Peace Prize laureate: Before using force in Syria, it would be good to think about future casualties,” Putin said.
“Russia is urging you to think twice before making a decision on an operation in Syria,” he said.
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