On March 7th, two US B-52H Stratofortress strategic bombers flew over the Middle East, as a show of strength against Iran.
The US military’s Central Command said the two B-52s flew over the region accompanied by military aircraft from nations including Israel, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. It marked the fourth-such bomber deployment into the Middke East this year and the second under President Joe Biden.
A pair of U.S. Air Force B-52H “Stratofortresses” flew a multinational patrol mission across the #MiddleEast from @TeamMinot today to deter aggression and reassure partners and allies @USAFCENT @MOD_Qatar @modgovksa #B52
— U.S. Central Command (@CENTCOM) March 7, 2021
Flight-tracking data showed the two B-52s flew out of Minot Air Base in North Dakota, something Central Command did not mention in its statement on the flights.
Iran, as usual, wasn’t directly mentioned by CENTCOM’s statement. According to it, the flight was to “deter aggression and reassure partners and allies of the US military’s commitment to security in the region.”
This goes directly opposite of US President Joe Biden’s claim that he wants to return to the Iran Nuclear Deal and have a sort of normalization in relations.
Biden expressed a desire to return to the deal if Iran honors the deal’s limits on its nuclear program. However, tensions remain high after militias in Iraq — likely backed by Iran — continue to target American interests.
In late February, Biden ordered the launch of an airstrike just over the border into Syria in retaliation, joining every American president from Ronald Reagan onward who has ordered a bombardment of countries in the Middle East.
On the same day, Beirut-based channel Al-Mayadeen aired footage of the Helios Ray, a Bahamian-flagged roll-on, roll-off vehicle cargo ship hit by the blasts February 26 in the Gulf of Oman.
The grainy footage included areas blurred out on the video, likely coordinates and other information displayed by the Iranian military drone. The footage at one point showed what appeared to be a hole in the side of the vessel.
Al-Mayadeen did not say when the footage was shot, nor explain the circumstance by which the Iranian drone was following the ship. The U.S. Navy’s Bahrain-based 5th Fleet, which patrols the Mideast and often has tense encounters with Iran, declined to comment on the footage.
Off Gaza’s coast, three fishermen were killed in a reported Hamas misfire, according to Israeli media.
At the same time, Arab-language media reported that it was an Israeli strike that killed the fishermen.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- “We’ll Level Tel Aviv”: Iran Responds To Israel ‘Preparing’ Strike Plans Against Nuclear Sites
- Iran Releases Drone Footage Of Israeli Vessel That Was Recently Attacked In Sea Of Oman