US Warship Heads for Lebanon

Deployment of USS Cole signals 'we're engaged,' official says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 29, 2008 4:30 AM CST
Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa, foregound right, meets with meets with Christian Opposition Leader Michel Aoun, foreground left, leader of the Parliamentary Majority, Saad Hariri, left background,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The US has ordered a warship to the coastal waters of Lebanon amid fear the country's political deadlock could turn violent, Reuters reports. The country's presidential election has just been delayed for the 15th time and the US blames the political quagmire on Syrian meddling on behalf of its Hezbollah allies. "The presence is important. It signals that we're engaged, we're going to be in the vicinity," said the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Another official said the "show of support is important for regional stability—we are very concerned about the situation in Lebanon." The destroyer will be stationed beyond the horizon, out of sight of the Lebanese coast. It could soon be joined by other vessels, including the amphibious assault vessel the USS Nassau.