US sending F-35s and more F-16s to Middle East in a message to Iran: Pentagon

The US military also deployed a guided-missile destroyer to the Middle East over the weekend in response to Iranian attempts to seize oil tankers increased in recent weeks.

Published: Updated:
Read Mode
100% Font Size
2 min read

The Pentagon announced Monday that the US is sending additional fighter jets to the Middle East, including F-35s, to defend US interests and ensure the freedom of navigation.

The announcement is the latest in a string of posture reinforcements by Washington following an increase in Iranian and Russian activity that has threatened US troops in the region and commercial tankers in Gulf waters.

For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

“Some [of the fighter jets] are en route,” the Pentagon’s deputy press secretary, Sabrina Singh, told reporters.

“In light of this continued threat [from Iran] and in coordination with our partners and allies, the [Pentagon] is increasing our presence and ability to monitor the Strait [of Hormuz] and surrounding waters,” Singh said.

She added that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and senior US officials made the decision.

The US military also deployed a guided-missile destroyer to the Middle East over the weekend in response to Iranian attempts to seize oil tankers increased in recent weeks.

On Friday, a senior US military official revealed that A-10 fighter jets had been conducting flights over the Strait of Hormuz for the past week and that a new fleet of F-16s was being dispatched to the Gulf in response to Iran.

Earlier this month, Iran tried to seize two oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz, firing shots at one of them, the US Navy previously said.

The US also dispatched a fleet of F-22 Raptors to the Middle East last month in response to Russia’s unsafe and unprofessional behavior in the skies over Syria.

Read more: Analysis: Joint military drills showcase US commitment to Middle East

Top Content Trending