The United States is deploying the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and additional military muscle, including B-52 bombers, to the Middle East to counter Iranian threats to U.S. troops on the ground and at sea, the Pentagon announced Tuesday.
Pentagon spokesman Charles Summers Monday had pointed towards “indications of heightened Iranian readiness to conduct offensive operations against U.S forces and our interests.
The Air Force is dispatching B-52 bombers, long-range warplanes capable of carrying 70,000 pounds of bombs.
In a written statement released by the White House, US national security adviser John Bolton said Sunday that the military support was being deployed “to send a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime that any attack on United States interests or on those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force.”
“The United States is not seeking war with the Iranian regime, but we are fully prepared to respond to any attack, whether by proxy, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or regular Iranian forces,” the statement continued.
“U.S. Central Command continues to track a number of credible threat streams emanating from the regime in Iran throughout the CENTCOM area of responsibility,” Navy Capt. Bill Urban, a Central Command spokesman, said in a statement.
“We will hold the Iranians accountable for attacks on American interests. And the fact that … if those actions take place, if they do by some third-party proxy, a Shiite militia group, the Houthis or Hezbollah, we will hold the Iranian leadership directly accountable for that,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday night.