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Pentagon orders B-52 flights to Middle East to deter Iran


Two American B-52 bombers flew a show-of-force mission in the Persian Gulf on Thursday that military officials said was intended to deter Iran and its proxies from carrying out attacks against United States troops in the Middle East amid rising tensions between the two countries.

The lumbering warplanes’ 36-hour round-trip mission from Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana was the second time in three weeks that Air Force bombers had conducted long-range flights near Iranian air space on short notice.


The United States periodically conducts such quick demonstration missions to the Middle East and Asia to underscore American air power to allies and adversaries, but the two missions within a month is unusual.

The multinational mission, which included aircraft from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain, was routed well outside Iranian air space. The American warplanes were in the broader gulf region for about two hours before returning home, officials said. Two other B-52s from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota conducted the same type of long-range mission in the area on Nov. 21.