F-22 Fighters Sent to Qatar Amid Iran Tensions

01 Juillet, 2019, 13:24 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Air Force F-22 Raptors arrive at Al Udeid Air Base Qatar on June 27 to defend American forces and interests in U.S. Central Command

The US Air Force's Central Command confirmed the deployment of the jets to Qatar's al-Udeid air base on Friday, posting photos of some of the planes arriving in the desert base this week.

The F-22 Raptors arrived Thursday to al-Udeid air base, the hub for USA air operations in the Middle East.

The F-22 movement comes a week after an Iranian surface-to-air missile shot down a USA drone over the Strait of Hormuz.

"These aircraft are deployed to Qatar for the first time in order to defend American forces and interests in the US Central Command area of responsibility", the Air Force said. Iran said the drone was in its airspace, but Washington claims it was over global waters. Iran can target U.S. vessels passing through the narrow channel of the Strait of Hormuz, the missiles of Iran can strike against United States forces, Iranian-led militias can target USA personnel and United States installations in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq.

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"The S-300 batteries would be the first target of the first wave to thereby open up airspace for following attacks" by other less stealthy United States aircraft, Layton said.

The US had also blamed Iran for attacks on oil tankers operating in the Gulf of Oman, but Tehran has denied any involvement. Amid the escalating tensions between Tehran and Washington, Iranian officials and military commanders have repeatedly threatened to close the commercial artery if attacked or somehow physically hindered from exporting the country's energy resources overseas. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, CIA chief Gina Haspel and National Security Advisor John Bolton are advocating war against Iran but Trump is looking at the 2020 USA elections.

Tensions in the region between Washington and Teheran have heightened in recent weeks.

The F-22, a critical component of the Global Strike Task Force, is created to project air dominance, rapidly and at great distances and defeat threats attempting to deny access to our nation's Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps. The US Air Force claims it "cannot be matched by any known or projected fighter aircraft". In the latter mode, with its speed and stealth capabilities, it becomes a prime platform for precision airstrikes on enemy targets. According to the U.S. Central Command, this is the first time F-22s have deployed to al-Udeid, which is a hub for U.S. air operations in the Middle East.

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