US Bombers Patrol Persian Gulf in Show of Force

Fighters join 'visible patrols' along Iranian waters

Deployed to the region last week in the ongoing US military buildup, B-52 bombers are in the skies over the Persian Gulf on Monday, joined by F-15C and F-35A fighters in what officials are calling “visible patrols.”

Defense officials were quoted as saying the idea was for the warplanes to make “show of presence’ flights around the Gulf, nominally to “deter” Iran and “defend US forces” in the region.

The deployment of US forces into the region was an opportunity for officials to play up the possibility of a war with Iran. Actually deploying more military forces around Iran greatly increases the risk of a war breaking out, with one little mistake potentially having disastrous consequences.

Centcom officials bragged about how quickly they’d transferred the B-52s from the US and got them into the air, saying they left Louisiana and were in the skies over the Gulf in “a little over 50 hours.”

Though the deployments are in the Persian Gulf, along the Iranian coast, Centcom referred to it as the “Arabian Gulf,” in keeping with Saudi Arabia and other nations seeking to rename the Gulf in a way belittling Iran.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.