The United States military said Monday it flew a pair of nuclear-capable B-52 long-distance bombers over the Middle East in a show of force, the fourth of its kind this year in the region as tensions remain high between Washington and Tehran.
The bombers took off from the Royal Air Force base at Fairford, England, and flew over the eastern Mediterranean, the Arabian Peninsula and the Red Sea on Sunday in training missions together with Kuwaiti and Saudi warplanes, before departing the region.
“Threats to the U.S. and our partners will not go unanswered.,” Lt. Gen. Alexus Grynkewich, the top U.S. Air Force officer in the Middle East said in a statement. “Missions like this … showcase our ability to combine forces to deter and, if necessary, defeat our adversaries.”
Although the U.S. military’s Central Command did not mention Iran, Washington has frequently dispatched B-52 bombers to the region as hostilities simmered between the U.S. and Iran. The last such flyover was in June.
Iran’s regional foe, Israel, also joined in the multinational mission. Though unacknowledged by the U.S., three Israeli F-16 fighter jets accompanied the American bombers “through Israel’s skies on their way to the (Persian) Gulf,” the Associated Press reported.
As fighter jets from the United Kingdom, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia escorted the B-52 bombers overhead, Army Central forces simulated firepower on the ground.
Image Credit: U.S. Air Force via AP