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B-52s fly over Persian Gulf as ‘complex attacks’ from Iran feared, US ready to thwart


#Two #American B-52 bombers flew a nonstop, 30-plus-hour, round-trip mission from the #United #States to the #Middle #East to send a fresh warning to #Iran as a senior military official said new warnings had been detected, a sign that potential “complex attacks” against #Americans are brewing as the one-year anniversary of the U.S. killing #Iran’s most powerful general looms.

#In a statement, U.S. #Central #Command said the bombers launched from #Minot #Air #Force #Base in #North #Dakota on #Tuesday morning, marking the third time in the past 45 days U.S. #Air #Force bombers have flown deterrence missions over the #Persian #Gulf under fighter escort. The bombers flew through without incident, and #Iran had not reacted publicly as of #Wednesday morning.

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A U.S. #Air #Force B-52 from #Barksdale #Air #Force #Base is aerial refueled by a KC-135 #Stratotanker over the U.S. #Central #Command area of responsibility #Dec. 30, 2020. The B-52 #Stratofortress is a long-range, heavy bomber that is capable of flying at high subsonic speeds at altitudes of up to 50,000 feet and can carry nuclear or precision guided conventional ordnance with global reach precision navigation capability. (U.S. #Air #Force photo by #Senior #Airman #Roslyn #Ward)

“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,” said #Gen. #Frank #McKenzie, commander of U.S. #Central #Command. “#We do not seek conflict, but no one should underestimate our ability to defend our forces or to act decisively in response to any attack.”

#Jan. 3 marks the one-year anniversary of U.S. #Special #Operations forces killing #Iranian #Maj. #Gen. #Qassem #Soleimani in a drone strike in #Baghdad. A recent U.S. intelligence report says #Iran wants to “avenge that killing,” according to a senior U.S. military official who spoke to #Fox #News and a small group of reporters ahead of the bomber flight. The official requested anonymity to discuss the sensitive information.

WHO IS QASSEM SOLEIMANI, THE SHADOWY LEADER OF THE ISLAMIC REVOLUTIONARY GUARD CORPS’ QUDS FORCE?

The fresh intelligence about #Iran is the “most concerning” information to come in since the killing of #Soleimani last year. #In #May 2019, U.S. officials detected a surge of weapons pouring into #Iraq, prompting U.S. #Central #Command to request the aircraft carrier #Abraham #Lincoln to be sent to the region.

The new bomber flight comes one week after #President #Trump threatened to retaliate against #Iran after 21 rockets were launched at the U.S. #Embassy in #Baghdad on #Dec. 20, the largest attack against the sprawling diplomatic compound in the past decade. The senior official said they also saw the “potential for other more complex attacks” against #Americans in #Iraq: “I think it is likely that the U.S. #Embassy in #Baghdad would be attacked again in some manner.”

“#We’re seeing planning for, particularly in #Iraq for complex attacks that require #Iranian assistance in order to be pulled off,” the official warned. “#It’s unclear to us, whether it’s contingency planning, or whether it’s a plan that is advancing because approval has been given and they’re just trying to get all the pieces in place and execute.”

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#While there is a range of potential attacks against #Americans in the #Middle #East, the “most worrisome is within #Iraq,” the official said.

“#We see a fair amount of advanced conventional weaponry of different types that has been flowing over the border into #Iraq,” they added. “The threat streams are very real.”

U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon is aerial refueled by a KC-135 Stratotanker over the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility Dec. 30, 2020. The B-52 Stratofortress is a long-range, heavy bomber that is capable of flying at high subsonic speeds at altitudes of up to 50,000 feet and can carry nuclear or precision guided conventional ordnance with global reach precision navigation capability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Roslyn Ward)

U.S. #Air #Force F-16 #Fighting #Falcon is aerial refueled by a KC-135 #Stratotanker over the U.S. #Central #Command area of responsibility #Dec. 30, 2020. The B-52 #Stratofortress is a long-range, heavy bomber that is capable of flying at high subsonic speeds at altitudes of up to 50,000 feet and can carry nuclear or precision guided conventional ordnance with global reach precision navigation capability. (U.S. #Air #Force photo by #Senior #Airman #Roslyn #Ward)

IRAN BUILDS AT UNDERGROUND NUCLEAR FACILITY AMID US TENSIONS

#When asked to explain what types of “complex attacks” #Iran could be planning, the official said short-range ballistic missiles or potentially “unmanned systems,” cruise missiles and “quad copters” similar to what was used in the attack on the #Saudi #Aramco oil processing facilities last year.

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“The scale of that planning and the complexity of the attacks that are envisioned are something that has certainly got our attention.”

#In his tweet two days before #Christmas, #Trump showed photos of what he said were three rockets that failed to launch in the embassy attack and said they were from #Iran. “#Some friendly health advice to #Iran: #If one #American is killed, I will hold #Iran responsible. #Think it over,” the president said.

TRUMP ISSUES STERN WARNING TO IRAN AFTER ROCKET ATTACK ON US EMBASSY IN BAGHDAD

#Since the rocket attack last week on the U.S. #Embassy in #Baghdad, #Iraqi officials have made a number of arrests. “The #Iraqis are really stepping up to the plate here” to disrupt future attacks against #Americans, the official said.

#All U.S. military planning against #Iran is “defensive” in nature, the official said, as a precaution in case #Iran does launch any new attacks against #American interests. #No offensive strikes are being planned, the official added. #Messages warning #Tehran have also been sent to #Iran via intermediaries inside #Iraq, the official said.

#Last month, #Iran’s top nuclear scientist was gunned down with what was reportedly a remote-controlled machine gun. #Officials in #Tehran blamed #Israel for the targeted killing. #Given the close ties between the U.S. and #Israel, “There’s a chance that we could be, you know, caught in the middle,” the official warned.

IRAN’S LEADER SAYS BIDEN’S ARRIVAL DOESN’T GUARANTEE BETTER RELATIONS WITH US

#On #New #Year’s #Eve last year, a mob attacked the U.S. #Embassy in #Baghdad. #No #Americans were hurt, but a quick reaction force of U.S. #Marines was flown in from #Kuwait to bolster security after the perimeter of the embassy was damaged in the unrest.

#Days later, on #Jan. 3, an #American drone orbiting over #Baghdad’s international airport killed #Iranian #Quds #Force commander #Maj. #Gen. #Qassem #Soleimani along with #Iranian-backed militia leader #Abu #Mahdi al-Muhandis. #Top U.S. military officials said #Soleimani was responsible for killing hundreds of #American troops during the #Iraq #War. They said #Soleimani was also responsible for a spate of rocket attacks against U.S. bases and the embassy in #Iraq.

#Last week, the guided-missile submarine USS #Georgia armed with up to 154 #Tomahawk cruise missiles and a dry deck shelter for #Navy SEALs entered the #Persian #Gulf, according to the #Navy’s 5th #Fleet. #It was the first public announcement of a guided-missile submarine transiting the #Strait of #Hormuz off the coast of #Iran into the gulf in eight years. #Escorting the submarine were the cruisers #Port #Royal and #Philippine #Sea, also armed with dozens of cruise missiles each. The guided-missile destroyer #John #Paul #Jones is also on patrol in the #Persian #Gulf.

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The aircraft carrier USS #Nimitz is currently off the coast of #Somalia in the #Indian #Ocean but could steam back north to the #Arabian #Sea to launch attacks from its dozens of F-18 #Super #Hornets, if needed, the senior military official said. #Last month, a squadron of #American F-16 jet fighters from #Germany arrived at #Al #Dhafra #Air #Base in the #United #Arab #Emirates.

The goal of the bomber flights, as well as the increased #American firepower in the #Persian #Gulf in recent days, is to deter #Iran for the purpose of “sending them a clear signal that should they decide to take action against our forces, we have the capability to respond,” the official said.



[ source link ]
https://www.foxnews.com/politics/b-52s-persian-gulf-iran-attacks-feared-us-ready-to-thwart

#B52s #fly ##Persian ##Gulf #complex #attacks ##Iran #feared #ready #thwart

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