The fifth U.S. guided missile destroyer, USS Stout, is to arrive in the eastern Mediterranean near Syria later Thursday, U.S. media reported.
USS Stout was originally intended to relieve one of the four destroyers already in the area, said WTKR-TV, which serves the Norfolk, Va. area, where the ship was based, Xinhua reported.
However, due to the rapidly evolving situation in Syria, the Navy has delayed the departure of the relieved ship, which means the four destroyers, USS Gravely, USS Mahan, USS Barry and USS Ramage, will all remain in the Mediterranean Sea, the report said.
All five destroyers have cruise missile capabilities.
Reports have indicated President Barack Obama could order a limited military strike against Syrian targets, utilizing Tomahawk cruise missiles aboard the destroyers.
In addition to the destroyers, U.S. Navy also has two aircraft carriers near Syria -- USS Harry S. Truman and USS Nimitz both in the Gulf region. USS Truman was initially scheduled to relieve USS Nimitz, but reports quoted defense sources as saying the departure of USS Nimitz has been delayed./Trend/