US flies B-52 bombers to the Middle East

Move comes amid ongoing tensions between the US and Iran ahead of first anniversary of elimination of Qassem Soleimani.

Elad Benari ,

B-52 bombers
B-52 bombers
iStock

The US military flew nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to the Middle East Wednesday, CNN reports.

The purpose of the move, according to a statement from US Central Command, was "to underscore the US military's commitment to regional security and demonstrate a unique ability to rapidly deploy overwhelming combat power on short notice.”

"The United States continues to deploy combat-ready capabilities into the US Central Command area of responsibility to deter any potential adversary and make clear that we are ready and able to respond to any aggression directed at Americans or our interests," Gen. Frank McKenzie, the commander of US Central Command, said in a statement.

Wednesday's flight constitutes the third bomber deployment in the Middle East in the last 45 days, noted CNN.

The bombers were sent from the US amid ongoing tensions with Iran and Iranian-backed militias in Iraq ahead of the first anniversary of the elimination of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, who was killed on January 3 in a US strike in the Iraqi capital.

Following a rocket attack on the US embassy in Baghdad, President Donald Trump last week warned that he would hold "Iran responsible" for any fatal attack on Americans in Iraq.

Iran’s Foreign Minister later warned Trump against any "adventurism" before leaving the White House.

Iran retaliated for the killing of Soleimani by launching a barrage of missiles on two Iraqi military bases hosting American troops. 34 service members were diagnosed with traumatic brain injury as a result of the attack.

However, there have been reports that Iran seeks to carry out another act of revenge, including a plot to assassinate the US ambassador to South Africa. Iran denied that report.

The head of US forces in the Middle East said last week that Washington is "prepared to react" if Tehran launches an attack to mark the first anniversary of Soleimani’s death.



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