Why did US planes fly into the Persian Gulf

Pars Today

Washington (Press TV) - Two B-52 bombers flew into the Middle East from a base in Louisiana on Thursday as tensions increased in the region following the assassination of a prominent Iranian nuclear scientist.

The long-range bombers deployed left the Barksdale Air Force Base briefly without interruption and flew in the western part of the Persian Gulf near Bahrain and Qatar before returning to Saudi Arabian airspace, the Washington Post quoted a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Defense as saying.

"Potential opponents should understand that no people on earth are so ready and able to quickly deploy additional combat strength in the face of aggression," said US Centcom (The United States Central Command) commander General Kenneth F. McKenzie. "We are not looking for a conflict, but we have to be ready and committed to react to eventualities or against aggression," he said.

It was the second such mission in two months.

A few days ago the US military brought the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz back to the Persian Gulf along with other warships.

A US military official told CNN that the operation will provide "combat support and air raid protection" for American forces withdrawing from Iraq and Afghanistan by January 15 before US President Donald Trump leaves office.

The announcement came after the murder of the Iranian nuclear scientist. Fakhrizadeh was martyred in a targeted attack near Tehran on November 27.

Mohsen Fakhrizadeh's assassination came two years after Prime Minister of the Israeli regime Benjamin Netanyahu warned the world to remember the name during a flawed presentation on Iran's nuclear activities.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard spokesman, Brigadier General Ramazan Sharif, announced that advanced electronic and satellite-controlled equipment had been used in the terrorist attack on Fakhrizadeh. "The Zionists know very well that their actions will not go unanswered, as has been proven to them in recent years," said Brigadier General Sharif on Sunday at a memorial ceremony for the martyr Fakhrizadeh in the southern Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas.

Iranian President Hassan Rohani also said the assassination by "Zionist elements" was a grave and inhumane crime aimed at curbing the Iranian advance towards scientific progress.