Biden Sends B-52 Bomber Over Persian Gulf After Missile Fired On Riyadh
On Wednesday The Wall Street Journal revealed that the Biden administration for the first time sent a B-52 bomber in a long range flight from the US to the Persian Gulf on Tuesday.
It’s the first such “warning” message to Iran under the Biden White House, in continuation of similar recent moves by Trump, and the sixth such B-52 operation over the Persian Gulf in only a few months. WSJ reports:
The B-52H Stratofortress, a long range heavy bomber, flew from Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana on Tuesday and was expected to make a continuous flight across Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and down the eastern Saudi coastline near the United Arab Emirates and Qatar before returning to the U.S., a senior military official said.
The official said further that “Our intent is to maintain that enduring defensive posture, to deter any aggression in the region, promote regional security and assure our allies.”
Multiple Royal Saudi Arabian Air Force F-15 jets were seen escorting the bomber in photos posted by US CENTCOM.
The provocative flyover appears to be in response to the two latest attacks on the Saudi capital of Riyadh. On Tuesday a ‘mystery’ inbound projectile, likely a missile, exploded over Riyadh’s city center when it was reportedly intercepted by Saudi anti-air defense systems.
It followed a prior Saturday projectile fired at the city from outside the country, widely reported to have been a drone, which also seems to have been shot down before doing any damage.
#BREAKING: In the first such flight under Biden, the Pentagon sent a B-52 bomber across the Persian Gulf region on Tuesday, the sixth such sortie since last fall, in a show of deterrence to #Iran. Comes after the two attempted attacks in Riyadh.https://t.co/YaQvPvFMSj
— Jason Brodsky (@JasonMBrodsky) January 27, 2021
Yemen’s Houthis have denied being behind either attack while at the same time speculation grows over the possibility that Iran-backed militias in Iraq are to blame, as WSJ describes further:
The coalition blamed the attack on the Houthis, who denied responsibility, and the U.S. also implied they were to blame. A previously unknown group called “True Promise Brigades” that purports to be based in Iraq distributed a statement on Telegram claiming it had targeted Yamama Palace and other sites in Riyadh in retaliation to alleged Saudi support for Islamic State.
The inbound projectile caused all flights at Riyadh’s international airport to be grounded for hours late into the day Tuesday.
Yemen’s Houthis have in past years launched missile attacks on both the capital and Saudi Aramco facilities, most famously in the September 2019 Abqaiq–Khurais attack. In the last weeks of the Trump administration the Houthis were designated as an official terror organization, something the Biden administration is now reviewing.
Wed, 01/27/2021 – 23:40