MIGHTY TRENDING
Ryan Pickrell

US fighters and bombers sent clear warning to Iran

(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ashley Gardner)

US fighters and bombers conducted a deterrence patrol over the Persian Gulf on May 12, 2019, 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 refueling.

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.

A 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.

(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ashley Gardner)

Source: US Central Command

May 12, 2019'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.

A 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.

(U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nichelle Anderso)

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 defense battery.

the USS Abraham Lincoln.

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Zachary S. Welch)

While emphasizing 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."

A 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 Refueling Squadron, at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia, May 12, 2019.

(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Keifer Bowes)

Source: White House

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

An Airman piloting an F-35A Lightning II receives fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker.

(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Keifer Bowes)

Source: US Air Forces Central Command

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

An Airman piloting an F-15C Eagle receives fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker.

(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Keifer Bowes)

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.

F-15C Eagle refueling during deterrence patrol.

(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Keifer Bowes)

This article originally appeared on Business Insider. Follow @BusinessInsider on Twitter.