Amid concerns of possible Iranian retaliation, the U.S. has flown a pair of B-52H bombers over the Persian Gulf, according to a statement on Thursday by the U.S. Central Command, CENTCOM.
The two Air Force “Stratofortresses” flew from Minot Air Force Base N.D., on Wednesday, to deliver “a clear deterrent message to anyone who intends to do harm to Americans or American interests,” it said.
According to the statement, this mission is the third bomber deployment into CENTCOM’s area of operation in the last 45 days.
“The United States continues to deploy combat-ready capabilities into the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.
”This is 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,” CENTOM head, Gen. Frank McKenzie, said in the statement.
The deployment reflects growing concerns in Washington that Iran might retaliate against the United States.
This is as the first anniversary (January 3) of the U.S. assassination of Iranian top military commander Qassem Soleimani approaches, reported The Hill.
Earlier this month, the Pentagon had flown a similar mission over the Middle-East and temporarily withdrew some staff from its embassy in Baghdad.
This was after a rocket attack in the Green Zone of Iraq’s capital Baghdad on December 20.
U.S. President Donald Trump had blamed the attack on Iran.
“Some friendly health advice to Iran: If one American is killed, I will hold Iran responsible. Think it over,” twitted Trump.
Meanwhile, Tehran had denied Trump’s allegation.