The USS San Antonio, an amphibious assault ship carrying about 300 Marines, has joined five Navy destroyers in the Eastern Mediterranean for a possible U.S. strike against the Syrian government.
The San Antonio has not received specific tasking, but it is being kept in the area as a “prudent decision should ship capabilities be required” during a Syria contingency, a defense official said.
The Obama administration is mulling limited military action against Syria’s government in response to a chemical weapons attack against opposition forces on Aug. 21. The president has not yet called for a strike, which is anticipated in coming days.
The five destroyers are expected to participate in any such strike, and can carry as many as 90 cruise missiles.
The Marines are part of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, which includes ground combat, aviation, logistics and command teams.