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US flies B-52 bomber to Middle East for third time this month

US flies B-52 bomber to Middle East for third time this month
© Courtesy U.S. Central Command

For the third time this month, the military flew a B-52 bomber from Louisiana to the Middle East “to deter potential aggression,” the Pentagon announced Wednesday.

The Air Force flew the B-52H “Stratofortress” nonstop from the 2nd Bomb Wing based out of Barksdale Air Force Base to the Gulf region amid tensions with Iran.

The flight, the first such mission under President BidenJoe BidenBiden taps California workplace safety leader to head up OSHA Romney blasts end of filibuster, expansion of SCOTUS US mulling cash payments to help curb migration MORE, was meant “to demonstrate the U.S. military’s ability to deploy airpower anywhere in the world to deter potential aggression and showcase the U.S. commitment to regional security,” according to a statement from U.S. Central Command.

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The command also published images of the bomber flying alongside Royal Saudi Arabian Air Force F-15s during the mission.

Former President TrumpDonald TrumpRomney blasts end of filibuster, expansion of SCOTUS McConnell, GOP slam Biden's executive order on SCOTUS US raises concerns about Iran's seriousness in nuclear talks MORE had ramped up such flights in the final months of his administration amid mounting brinkmanship with Iran. The animosity increased following Trump's 2018 decision to pull the United States from the Iran nuclear deal, setting off a chain of escalating incidents between the two countries.

National security officials also feared Iran might be planning to retaliate on the one-year anniversary of the Trump-ordered airstrike that killed top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani near Baghdad’s airport on Jan. 3, 2020.

Biden, meanwhile, has said he hopes to return to the Obama-era nuclear deal.