Reports from a U.S. official reveals that the Pentagon has deployed six nuclear-capable B-52 bombers within striking distance of Iran.
The six B-52 bombers will be based in a British-owned island named Diego Garcia. According to the Washington Examiner, Diego Garcia, located in the Indian ocean, is located beyond the range of known Iranian missiles.
The Western Journal also reports how the B-52s departed from Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, one that they sourced from Fox News.
Pentagon Spokeswoman Commander Rebecca Rebarich did not confirm the said deployment, stating "For operational security, we are not discussing forces flowing into or out of the U.S. Central Command are of responsibility at this time."
The base is 2,300 miles south of Iran's southernmost point. According to Sputnik News, this is within striking distance for bombers given mid-air refueling. It is also said in the article how it is a common stopping-off point for U.S. bombers.
After the death of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani due to the drone strike, Iran promises to retaliate. The Iraqi government reveals that Soleimani was in Baghdad to hear a proposal by regional rival and U.S. client Saudi Arabia for peace.
Kevin Baron explains through tweets the significance of the B-52s.
The U.S. strengthens its troop presence, with the Examiner reporting an estimated manpower of 80,000. This includes 3,500 members of the 82nd Airborne who have been sent to Kuwait, and 2,400 Marines of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit are now in the region aboard the USS Bataan.
CNN states "There were indications that we needed to monitor the threats" from the U.S. official. Another official was said to have stated "all Patriot batteries and forces in the are were on high alert against an imminent attack threat."
Iran has also been under surveillance as they move military equipment that includes drones and missiles. According to the Western Journal, there are two interpretations to this action; either they are readying for an attack or taking precautions after the drone strike.
The U.S. is closely observing and highly concerned on how Iran will take action towards neighboring countries Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan. Just this Monday, the U.S. Maritime Administration warns commercial shipping within the region how "there remains the possibility of Iranian actions against U.S. maritime interests in the region."