The U.S. aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush is being moved to the Persian Gulf in case President Barack Obama authorizes airstrikes in Iraq, CNN reported Friday.

Iraq is in turmoil after an al Qaeda offshoot, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, made advances this week in the north and north-central portions of the country, including the seizure of Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city.

On Thursday, Obama said he was mulling all options on Iraq, saying, "I don't rule anything out." His spokesman, Jay Carney, later clarified, saying the president is not considering putting troops on the ground.