U.S. B-52 Bomber Flies Over Persian Gulf, In Show Of Force Against Iran
Al-Udeid Air Base, QATAR—The Pentagon sent a B-52 bomber across the Persian Gulf region on Tuesday, the sixth such sortie since last fall, in a show of deterrence to Iran.
The B-52H Stratofortress, a long range heavy bomber, flew from Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana on Tuesday and was expected to make a continuous flight across Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and down the eastern Saudi coastline near the United Arab Emirates and Qatar before returning to the U.S., a senior military official said.
“Our intent is to maintain that enduring defensive posture, to deter any aggression in the region, promote regional security and assure our allies,” the senior military official said.
The U.S. has been on guard for the last couple of months and has been worried about the threat posed by Iran, particularly leading up to the presidential inauguration Jan. 20, multiple officials have said.
American officials have blamed Iran-backed militias for repeated rocket attacks on U.S. facilities in Iraq last year, such as one last month that caused minor damage at the embassy compound inside Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone. Washington has condemned regular cross-border missile and drone strikes launched by the Iran-aligned Houthi rebels in Yemen against civilian targets in Saudi Arabia.
The U.S. kept an aircraft carrier in the region, maintained other military capabilities and military commanders were on high alert, officials said. That stemmed from the consensus of intelligence analysts who intercepted messages indicating Tehran or its proxies in the region were planning to avenge the death of Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the leader of Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, who was killed by an American drone strikein Iraq in January 2020.
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