US military sends B-52 bombers to Middle East as show of force against Iran

Topics US | US-Iran tensions | Iran

Representative photo of fighter jets

The US on Thursday flew a pair of B-52 strategic bombers from a base in Louisiana to the Middle East, as a show of force against Iran, as tensions continue to escalate between Tehran and Washington during President Donald Trump's outgoing administration.

The B-52H "Stratofortresses," long-range heavy bombers that can carry nuclear warheads or perform conventional missions, left Barksdale Air Force Base on a short-notice nonstop mission, reported Washington Post.

The mission was designed to demonstrate the US military's commitment to its regional partners and ability to deploy combat power rapidly to anywhere in the world, according to the US Central Command, which oversees the Middle East.

"Potential adversaries should understand that no nation on earth is more ready and capable of rapidly deploying additional combat power in the face of any aggression," said General Kenneth F McKenzie Jr, the Central Command commander, in a statement.

According to Washington Post, this show of force comes at a time of heightened risk to the US and its allies in the Middle East, as the bomber mission took place a week after the US government decided to withdraw some staff from its embassy in Iraq, where conflict with Iranian-backed forces has persisted for months.

It also comes after Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Iran's top nuclear scientist was killed last month in an apparent assassination that the Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif linked to Israel.

Tensions have been rising between the two countries since US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal Iran struck with six major world powers.

Earlier this year, the US drone attack in Iraq killed Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's elite Quds Force, which further escalated the matter.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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