3 Israeli F-16 Fighter Jets Escort 2 US B-52 Bombers to the Persian Gulf, For What?

3 Israeli F-16 Fighter Jets Escort 2 US B-52 Bombers to the Persian Gulf, For What?
3 Israeli F-16 Fighter Jets Escort 2 US B-52 Bombers to the Persian Gulf (pict of illustration) 

International Military
- Three Israeli F-16i fighter jets escort two US B-52 bombers en route to the Persian Gulf. Quoted from the Times of Israel, Tuesday (6/9/2022), the maneuver that took place on Sunday was a bluff against Iran in the midst of simmering tensions.

"The flight was held as part of close cooperation with the US military, which represents a critical element in ensuring the security of the airspace of the State of Israel and the Middle East," the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said in a statement.

The US military said a pair of B-52 bombers took off from the British Royal Air Force base in Fairford and flew over the eastern Mediterranean, Arabian Peninsula and Red Sea on a joint training mission with Kuwaiti and Saudi Arabian warplanes, before leaving the region.

"Threats to the United States and our partners will go unanswered," Lieutenant General Alexus Grynkewich, the top US Air Force officer in the Middle East, said in a statement. “A mission like this… demonstrates our ability to join forces to deter and, if necessary, defeat our foes.”

Although the US military's Central Command (CENTCOM) makes no mention of Iran, Washington has frequently sent B-52 bombers to the region when hostilities simmer between the US and Iran. The last such maneuver took place in June. Iran has also been wary of possible foreign attacks, with 51 cities already equipped with civil defense systems.

Read Also: Tension with US and Israel, Iran Equip 51 Cities with Defense Systems

Israeli fighter jets escorting American bombers have become a regular fixture in Middle Eastern skies as tensions between Tehran and the West have escalated amid efforts to negotiate a renewed nuclear deal. US CENTCOM expanded last year to include Israel, a move seen to boost regional cooperation against Iran under former US president Donald Trump.

Last week, the US aircraft manufacturer; Boeing, signed a contract with the US Department of Defense to supply Israel with four KC-46 refueling aircraft. The multi-role aircraft allows mid-air refueling for fighter jets and other aircraft, but can also be used for military transport.

For Israel, the planes are seen as necessary to carry out a potential major strike against targets in Iran, some 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles) from Israel and well beyond the normal flight range of Israeli fighter jets. EU-sponsored nuclear talks have been going on for more than a year to bring the US back to the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Read Also: Finally, the Sukhoi Su-35 Flanker Fighter Jet Sold by Iran a Total of 24 Units

The deal, signed between Iran and the US, Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia, has been unraveling since the Trump administration withdrew from the agreement in 2018. The US then reimposed tough sanctions and Iran responded by scrapping many of its own commitments to the pact. including increasing its uranium enrichment to levels far beyond the treaty limits.

Iran is now enriching uranium to 60% purity. Non-profile experts warn Tehran has enough 60% enriched uranium to be reprocessed into fuel for at least one nuclear bomb. Israel believes that the US and Iran in the next few weeks will revive the nuclear deal, although Washington has said Tehran's latest response to negotiations was "unconstructive."

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