Israeli F-15 fighter jets have escorted two US B-52 bombers as they crossed the Occupied Palestinian Territories to flex the Middle East’s recent military muscles.
The Times of Israel reported that every American bomber on Sunday was accompanied by four Israeli F-15 jets.
“This flight is further evidence of the strategic cooperation with American forces, which is a cornerstone of maintaining the security of the airspace of … Israel and the Middle East,” the Israeli military said in a statement.
The B-52 bombers were also escorted by military aircraft from Saudi Arabia and Qatar as they flew through their respective airspaces.
The US military claimed the flight was intended to “deter aggression and reassure partners and allies of the US military’s commitment to security in the region.”
The Sunday flyby was at least the seventh in the past six months.
However, it was the first time that Israeli planes were photographed accompanied by the US bombers.
Israel is apparently trying to stake a military footprint in the Persian Gulf after signing normalization agreements with some regional Arab states.
The occupation regime recently claimed there was an explosion on their ship in the Sea of Oman, pointing a finger at Iran, which flatly refused.
Iranian officials and international observers believe the incident is the latest in a litany of false flag operations by Israel to implement its new plans in the region.
The Lebanese news channel al-Mayadeen published a video on Sunday contradicting the Israeli allegations and showing that the ship had in fact not been attacked from the outside.
On February 26, an Israeli-owned cargo ship announced that it had been crippled by an alleged explosion in the Sea of Oman and claimed that it had suffered holes on both sides of its hull.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hastily accused Iran of attacking the ship. “This was indeed an Iranian operation. That’s clear, ”he said without presenting any evidence. Netanyahu also said Iran is “Israel’s greatest enemy and we are beating him across the region.”
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh flatly denied the Israeli claim. He said Netanyahu “suffers from Iranophobia” and Iran will not allow the Israeli regime to panic in the region.
In a letter to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Friday, the Iranian UN ambassador also warned of the consequences of a possible miscalculation by Israel in relation to the incident.
Iran’s defense minister said Sunday in Tehran will bring Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground if Israel makes a mistake after the Israeli military minister said the regime is updating plans for a possible attack on Iranian nuclear facilities.
“Sometimes the Zionist regime bites off more than it can chew and clearly threatens out of desperation,” said Brigadier General Amir Hatami.
B-52 overflights intensified in the last two months of former President Donald Trump’s inauguration when the US sent a nuclear-powered submarine to the Persian Gulf for the first time in eight years.
According to the New York Times, “such rapid demonstration missions to the Middle East and Asia” were aimed at “presenting American air power to allies and opponents.”
Last month, the chief of staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Maj. Gen. Mohammad Baqeri, said Iran conducted ten military exercises in the Persian Gulf and Oman when the US flexed its muscles.
The new B-52 flyover – a grueling 36-hour round-trip journey from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota to the Middle East – is the first under the new U.S. administration that has claimed to be having a de-escalation of tensions to reach Iran.
Iranian officials said they had not seen a significant change in US policy, which President Joe Biden called a complete failure during his campaign.