by WorldTribune Staff, December 31, 2020
The U.S. deployed nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to the Middle East on Wednesday, U.S. Central Command confirmed.
Central Command said in a statement that the move was made “to underscore the U.S. military’s commitment to regional security and demonstrate a unique ability to rapidly deploy overwhelming combat power on short notice.”
The deployment comes days before the one-year anniversary of the U.S. operation which killed top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani on Jan. 3, 2020. Reports out of the Middle East have said Iran may be planning an act of revenge for Soleimani’s death.
The head of U.S. forces in the Middle East said last week that Washington is “prepared to react” if Iran launches an attack to mark the anniversary of Soleimani’s death.
“The United States continues to deploy combat-ready capabilities into the U.S. 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 U.S. Central Command, said in a statement.
“My assessment is we are in a very good position and we’ll be prepared for anything the Iranians or their proxies acting for them might choose to do,” he added.
Wednesday’s B-52 deployment constitutes the third bomber deployment in the Middle East in the last 45 days.
Following a rocket attack on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, President Donald Trump last week warned that he would hold “Iran responsible” for any fatal attack on Americans in Iraq.
Trump tweeted on Dec. 23: “Our embassy in Baghdad got hit Sunday by several rockets. Three rockets failed to launch. Guess where they were from: IRAN. Now we hear chatter of additional attacks against Americans in Iraq.”
“Some friendly health advice to Iran: If one American is killed, I will hold Iran responsible. Think it over,” Trump added.