As more than 3,000 US troops are readying to deploy to the Middle East this week following the killing of the IRGC’s Quds Force General Qasem Soleimani, the Pentagon will additionally send major military hardware in the form of an additional B-52 strike force.
CNN’s Barbara Starr reported late in the day Monday that a US defense official has confirmed the Pentagon will being sending six B-52 bombers to the major US military base at Deigo Garcia.
Starr reports the B-52s will be “available for operations against Iran if ordered”.
However, the CNN correspondent noted that “the deployment does not signal that operations have been ordered.”
The major US military base at Diego Garcia, located in the middle of the Indian Ocean on the largest island in the Chagos archipelago, is often used as a staging ground for operations in the eastern hemisphere.
Currently, American B-52 Stratofortress bombers are stationed at a US airbase in Qatar, after a strike group was previously ordered there by US Central Command (CENTCOM) last May over increasing tension with Iran.
For that prior deployment, the Trump administration said it had been sending a “message to Iran”.
Meanwhile, Iranian state media channels on Monday began “answering” US threats, broadcasting military “shows of force” against the United States to its population:
عاجل : التلفزيون الإيراني بث قبل قليل نشيد الحرب الإيرانية – العراقية في إشارة إلى حالة الحرب التي قد تشهدها المنطقة بعد مقتل سليماني . هذا النشيد ومترجم إلى اللغة العربية. pic.twitter.com/2NnNxYDOKW
— محمد مجيد الأحوازي (@MohamadAhwaze) January 6, 2020
Over the past couple months thousands of American military personnel have also be stationed inside Saudi Arabia, following the Sept.14 Aramco facility attacks, widely blamed by the West on Iran.
Clearly, this newest B-52 deployment is meant to act as “deterrence” against any potential Iranian strike on US personnel or interests. President Trump has already threatened all-out attack on 52 sites inside Iran.