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US Flies Bombers in Middle East Tour De Force
A U.S. Air Force B-52 from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota is aerial refueled by a KC-135 Stratotanker as it heads to the Persioan Gulf on Dec. 30, 2020. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Roslyn Ward)

US Flies Bombers in Middle East Tour De Force

The United States military on Wednesday conducted a rare B-52 bomber flyover of the Middle East, less than a week after President Joe Biden took office and for the third time this year. A US Central Command, or CENTCOM statement said the bombers took off from Louisiana and “successfully completed a presence patrol” in the region, adding that the “defensive mission intended to demonstrate the US military’s ability to deploy air power anywhere in the world to deter potential aggression and showcase the US commitment to regional security.” President Donald Trump sent two similar missions in the waning days of his term, in what was considered a deterrence effort against Iran. On Tuesday, Israel military Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi revealed that his army is drawing up fresh plans for preventing Tehran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, and warned the new president against returning to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. While Iranian officials brushed off the general’s charges as “psychological warfare,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday admitted the US is “a long way” from rejoining the agreement abandoned by Trump in 2018, noting Iran would have to first return to full compliance for any advancements to be made.

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