US fighters and bombers flew over the Persian Gulf in a warning to Iran

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ashley GardnerA U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress aircraft assigned to the 20th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron taxis for takeoff on a runway at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, May 12, 2019.
  • A US bomber task force deployed to the Middle East conducted its first deterrence patrol on Sunday, US Air Forces Central Command revealed.
  • Responding to the threat of an Iranian attack on US interests, the US has deployed a carrier strike group, a bomber task force, an amphibious assault vessel, and an air-and-missile defence battery to the Middle East.
  • The B-52 bombers that flew on Sunday were accompanied by F-35A and F-15C fighters.
  • Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.

US fighters and bombers conducted a deterrence patrol over the Persian Gulf on Sunday as a warning to Iran, which the US has accused of plotting attacks on US interests in the region.

During the mission, US Air Force B-52H Stratofortress heavy, long-range bombers were accompanied by F-15C Eagles and F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters. The bombers and escorts were supported by a KC-135 Stratotanker providing aerial refuelling.

US Central Command explained to Business Insider that the flight was intended to send a message to Iran and others that the US military is ready to defend its interests.


The bombers were deployed to the CENTCOM area of responsibility last week after the US reportedly received intelligence showing “clear indications that Iranian and Iranian proxy forces were making preparations to possibly attack US forces in the region,” a US Central Command spokesman said.

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ashley GardnerA U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress aircraft assigned to the 20th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron takes off from Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, May 12, 2019.

Source: US Central Command


Sunday’s patrol was the first mission for the four B-52s deployed to the CENTCOM area. “They’re here to defend our forces and interests,” a US Air Forces Central Command spokesperson told Stars and Stripes.

U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nichelle AndersoA U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress aircraft assigned to the 20th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron takes off from Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, May 12, 2019.

Source: Stars and Stripes


Other US military assets sent to the Middle East to check Iran include the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group, an amphibious assault vessel, and a Patriot air-and-missile defence battery.


Read more:
The US is sending a ton of firepower to take on Iran – here’s everything headed its way


While emphasising that the US does not seek war with Iran, the White House has stressed that any attack by Iran will be met with “unrelenting force.”

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Keifer BowesA U.S. B-52H Stratofortress aircraft assigned to the 20th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron refuels from a KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 28th Expeditionary Air Refuelling Squadron, at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia, May 12, 2019.

Source: White House


The fifth-generation F-35As were moved into the theatre for the first time in April to support ongoing operations. These stealth fighters have already conducted strikes in the region.

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Keifer BowesAn Airman piloting an F-35A Lightning II receives fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker.

Source: US Air Forces Central Command


The F-15Cs were already in theatre but were moved last week “to be best positioned to defend U.S. forces and interests in the region.”

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Keifer BowesAn Airman piloting an F-15C Eagle receives fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker.

Source: US Air Forces Central Command


As CENTCOM bolsters its firepower, Iran has issued several warnings, at one point calling the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier a “target” rather than a threat. Iran has not yet, it appears, escalated beyond rhetoric though.

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Keifer BowesF-15C Eagle refuelling during deterrence patrol


Read more:



Iranian commander warns US aircraft carrier is a ‘target,’ not a threat, as lots of US firepower pours into the region

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