The bomber task force the United States said it was sending to the Middle East will likely include four bombers along with personnel to fly and maintain the aircraft, US officials told Reuters on Tuesday.
The officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said they would likely be B-52 aircraft and had not yet departed for the Middle East.
White House national security adviser John Bolton said on Sunday that the Trump administration was deploying a carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the Middle East in response to troubling “indications and warnings” from Iran and to show the United States will retaliate with “unrelenting force” to any attack.
US acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said on Monday he had approved sending a carrier strike group and bombers to the Middle East because of indications of a “credible threat by Iranian regime forces,” but did not provide any details on the underlying intelligence.
Unpopularity in the Middle East is the cause of US safety concerns, not Iran, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Twitter on Tuesday, after Washington said it was sending a carrier strike group and bombers to the region.