As we reported earlier today, the US plane which shot down the Syrian Su-22 over Raqqa province on Sunday was a carrier-based F/A-18 from the USS George H.W. Bush, which is currently anchored in the Eastern Mediterranean.
In response to the plainly illegal shoot-down, the Russians have suspended their deconfliction channel with the US, and even stated that they will "paint" all aircraft flying in Syrian airspace west of the Euphrates River.
This puts the US Navy in a bit of a pickle. Now, any carrier-based aircraft flying from the Mediterranean will have to pass over Russian-controlled airspace to reach their targets inside Syria—which is a risky proposition, to put it mildly.
The USS George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier will dock at Israel’s Haifa Bay for the first time in 17 years ahead of participating in military air campaigns against the Islamic State.
The nuclear-powered warship has a crew of about 5,700 sailors and 80 fighter jets. While it’s docked, sailors will be granted shore leave and provided with dozens of buses to tour Haifa and travel to other Israeli cities of their choosing. The visit is expected to be a boon to the local Israeli economy.
However, the Big Bush isn't expected to dock in Israel until July 1, so technically there's still plenty of time to give World War III another shot.
Enjoy Haifa—and Israel's extensive air defenses. You deserve it! (And probably need it.)