US flies B-52 bombers over Mideast to ‘reassure’ partners and allies

The attempt at reassurance comes at a time of growing concern among U.S. partners and allies in the region over President Biden’s reversal of many Trump administration policies.

By Josh Plank, World Israel News

Israeli F-15 fighter jets escorted two American B-52H Stratofortress bombers through Israeli airspace on Sunday as the bombers flew across the Middle East in an effort to “reassure partners and allies of the U.S. military’s commitment to security in the region.”

“This flight is part of the joint strategic cooperation with U.S. forces, which is pivotal in maintaining the security of Israeli and Middle Eastern skies,” tweeted the Israel Defense Forces along with photographs, one of which appeared to show the aircraft over the city of Shiloh in Samaria.

In a press release on Sunday, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) said that the purpose of the multinational patrol mission, the fourth bomber deployment into the Middle East this year, was to “deter aggression and reassure partners and allies of the U.S. military’s commitment to security in the region.”

While the statement did not specify which nation’s “aggression” the U.S. meant to deter, the move is widely seen as a signal to Iran.

The U.S. was less cryptic about which nations it meant to “reassure,” saying, “Multiple partner nations and U.S. Air Force fighter aircraft accompanied the U.S. bombers at different points during the flight, including Israel, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.”

“The U.S. Air Force routinely moves aircraft and personnel into, out of, and around the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility to meet mission requirements, and to train with regional partners, underscoring the importance of strategic partnerships,” the statement said.

The attempt to calm allies’ fears comes at a time of growing concern among U.S. partners in the region over President Biden’s reversal of many Trump administration policies.

Chief among these is the Biden administration’s intention to reenter the 2015 Iranian nuclear agreement, which Prime Minister Netanyahu called “disastrous.”

Biden has also aimed to “recalibrate” relations with Saudi Arabia and has ended U.S. support for the Saudi military offensive against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki last month struggled to answer whether Saudi Arabia and Israel were even still “important allies,” finally backtracking to admit several days later that at least in Israel’s case, the alliance still stood.