Washington says bombers flew across the Gulf to prevent Tehran from attacking American or allied targets in the region.
The United States flew strategic bombers over the Gulf for the second time this month on Wednesday. According to Washington, this is intended to prevent Iran from attacking American or allied targets in the Middle East.
A senior US military officer said the flight of two Air Force B-52 bombers was in response to signals that Iran is planning attacks on US allied targets in neighboring Iraq or elsewhere in the region in the coming days Might, Even as President – Elect Joe Biden to prepare for office.
The officer was not empowered to publicly discuss internal reviews based on sensitive information and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
The B-52 bomber mission, flown from an air base in North Dakota, reflects growing concern in Washington over the past few weeks of President Donald Trump’s administration that Iran is seeking further military retaliation for the recent murder will order the USA 3. January of the Iranian Supreme Military Commander General Qassem Soleimani.
Iran’s first response, five days after the deadly US drone attack, was a ballistic missile attack on a military base in Iraq that left about 100 American troops with a concussion.
Adding to the tensions was a rocket attack by Iranian-backed Shiite armed groups on the US embassy grounds in Baghdad last week. Nobody was killed, but Trump tweeted afterwards that Iran had been notified.
« Some friendly health advice to Iran: If an American is killed, I will hold Iran accountable. Think about it, « wrote Trump on Jan.. December.
When the bomber flight was announced on Wednesday, the head of US Central Command said it was a defense platoon.
« The United States continues to use combat-ready capabilities within the US Central Command’s area of responsibility to deter potential adversaries and to make it clear that we are ready and able to respond to aggression directed against Americans or our interests. « said General Frank McKenzie, the commander of the Central Command. “We are not looking for conflict, but nobody should underestimate our ability to defend our armed forces or to respond decisively to attacks. ”
Prior to the announcement, the senior US military officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that US intelligence recently discovered signs of « fairly substantial threats » from Iran, including the planning of possible missile attacks against US interests Iraq in connection with the year-long anniversary of Soleimani’s murder.
The US is about to increase its troop presence in Iraq from Nov.. 000 to about 2. 500 to reduce. Trump ordered the reduction to take place by Jan.. January should be achieved; Officials say it will likely be reached as soon as next week.
The United States has also picked up on signs that Iran may be considering or planning « more complex » and broader attacks against American targets or interests in the Middle East, the senior US military officer said, adding that these are the most worrying Signs since the days immediately following Soleimani’s murder.
The officer cited evidence that advanced weapons have recently flowed into Iraq from Iran and that Shiite militia leaders in Iraq may have encountered officers from the Iranian Quds force previously commanded by Soleimani.
The US officer said Iran may have economic goals in mind, noting the September 2019 rocket and drone attack on Saudi oil processing plants. Iran denied involvement but was blamed by Washington for the attack.
In the past few weeks, the US military has taken a number of steps to deter Iran while publicly stressing that it is not planning or instructing any unprovoked action against Iran.
Last week, a US Navy guided missile submarine made an unusual transit across the Strait of Hormuz, the strategic waterway between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.
In early December, two B-52 bombers flew from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, what the military calls a « presence » mission over the Gulf – a demonstration by the US armed forces and a signal of US commitment to the region. but not an attack mission. That flight was repeated this week, with two B-52s flying non-stop from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota and heading home on Wednesday after cruising over the west side of the Gulf.
Tensions with Iran escalated with the November murder of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, an Iranian scientist named by the West as the leader of the Islamic Republic’s disbanded military nuclear program. Iran blamed Israel for the killing, but US officials are concerned that any Iranian retribution could harm American interests.
The US shale oil boom has removed the protection of Gulf oil from Washington’s top priority list.
The Iranian central bank said it had received support from the US to transfer money to a Swiss account and pay for the vaccines.
Iran, Persian Gulf, Bombers, Iraq, Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, Qasem Soleimani, Donald Trump, Joe Biden
World news – USA – US bombers fly under tension over the Gulf with Iran
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