The United States is deploying an amphibious assault ship and a Patriot missile battery to bolster an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers already sent to the Gulf, ratcheting up pressure on Saturday on arch-foe Iran.
In response to alleged threats from Iran, the USS Arlington , which transports marines, amphibious vehicles, conventional landing craft and rotary aircraft, and the Patriot air defence system will join the Abraham Lincoln carrier group, the Pentagon announced on Friday. The carrier and a B-52 bomber task force were ordered towards the Gulf, as Washington reiterated that intelligence reports suggested Iran was planning some sort of attack in the region.
B-52 bombers arrive
CENTCOM, the U.S. forces for West Asia and Afghanistan, said Friday on Twitter that the B-52 bombers arrived at the area of operations on May 8, without saying where they had landed.
National Security Advisor John Bolton has said that the deployment aimed to send a “clear and unmistakable” message to Iran about any attack against the U.S. or its partners in the region. Washington has not elaborated on the alleged threat, drawing criticism that it is overreacting and unnecessarily driving up tensions in the region.
There was no immediate reaction from Tehran, but earlier in the week it shrugged off the carrier deployment. “Bolton’s statement is a clumsy use of an out-of-date event for psychological warfare,” Iran’s Supreme National Security Council spokesman Keyvan Khosravi said.