US deploys B-52s to Qatar to fight ISIS
The US Air Force deployed B-52 bombers to Qatar on Saturday to join the fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria
The US Air Force deployed B-52 bombers to Qatar on Saturday to join the fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, the first time they have been based in the Middle East since the end of the Gulf War in 1991.
US Air Forces Central Command said it last flew the long-range bombers operationally in the region in May 2006 as part of the war in Afghanistan, and during a US-led military exercise in Jordan in May 2015.
“The B-52 demonstrates our continued resolve to apply persistent pressure on Daesh and defend the region in any future contingency,” said Air Force Lieutenant General Charles Brown, commander of US Air Forces Central Command.
Daesh is the Arabic acronym for ISIS.
Lieutenant Colonel Chris Karns, spokesman for the Central Command, said he could not provide the exact number of B-52 bombers to be based at Al Udeid Air Basein Qatar due to “operational security reasons.”
Washington’s decision to deploy its powerful B-52 bombers to Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar came as the US military stepped up the fight against ISIS.
Brown said the bombers would be able to deliver precision weapons and carry out a range of missions, including strategic attack, close-air support, air interdiction, and maritime operations.
Karns said the bombers would enable US forces to drop one or two munitions in an area, rather than use carpet bombing.
“Accuracy is critically important in this war,” he said.
“Carpet-bombing would not be effective for the operation we’re in because Daesh doesn’t mass as large groups. Often, they blend into population centers. We always look to minimize civilian casualties.”
Kerry in Baghdad to meet Iraqi leaders, discuss ISIS fightKerry was to speak with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi as well as Iraq’s foreign minister, top Sunni official and Kurdish regional leader Middle East
ISIS ‘to release’ 300 Syrian cement workersSyrian mediators reached an agreement Friday for the release of some 300 cement workers kidnapped by the ISIS Middle East
Syrian rebels seize ISIS stronghold near AleppoIt was the first retreat by the ISIS militants since they made major advances in that area last May against rival insurgents Middle East
Syria rebels seize main ISIS supply route with TurkeyThe Observatory says ‘rebel factions and Islamists took control of the northeast of Al-Rai’ a town occupied by ISIS on the border Middle East