U.S. Central Command stated the U.S. Air Force B-52H “Stratofortress” aircrews performed the mission on “short notice” to “deter aggression and reassure U.S. partners and allies.”
“The ability to quickly move forces into, out of and around the theater to seize, retain and exploit the initiative is key to deterring potential aggression,” said Lt. Gen. Greg Guillot, 9th Air Force commander.
“These missions help bomber aircrews gain familiarity with the region’s airspace and command, and control functions and allow them to integrate with the theater’s U.S. and partner air assets, increasing the combined force’s overall readiness.”
President Trump’s new appearing defense secretary Christopher Miller introduced Tuesday a drawdown of troops to 2,500 in Afghanistan and a couple of,500 in Iraq by Jan. 15 of subsequent 12 months. There are roughly 4,500 troops in Afghanistan and three,000 in Iraq proper now.
“In light of these tremendous sacrifices, and with great humility and gratitude to those who came before us, I am formally announcing that we will implement President Trump’s orders to continue our repositioning of forces from those two countries,” Miller said Tuesday.
“This is consistent with our established plans and strategic objectives, supported by the American people, and does not equate to a change in policy or objectives.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in Doha, Qatar, Saturday to participate in what may very well be his final spherical of negotiations with the Taliban and Afghan authorities a few peace deal.
Violence in Afghanistan soared this 12 months, as eight folks have been killed simply hours earlier than peace talks have been set to start Saturday when mortars hit a residential space of Kabul.
It is unclear the place the B-52H bombers went in the Middle East Saturday, however they left from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota.
Minot Air Force Base is the solely base in the United States that homes each intercontinental ballistic missiles in underground silos in addition to a fleet of bombers additionally able to carrying nuclear warheads.
It marks the first B-52 mission to the Middle East in a number of months. In January, after the U.S. military’s elite Joint Special Operations Command killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike, six B-52 bombers have been dispatched to Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.