US launched warplanes after Iran threatened Saudi Arabia - report

The scrambling of the jets comes after Riyadh warned the US that Iran was planning an attack against both Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

 A US Air Force F-22 Raptor based out of Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, prepares to connect with a KC-135 Stratotanker during an aerial refueling mission above an undisclosed location in the Gulf, in this undated handout picture released by US Air Force on August 1, 2019. (photo credit: CHRIS DRZAZGOWSKI/US AIRFORCE/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)
A US Air Force F-22 Raptor based out of Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, prepares to connect with a KC-135 Stratotanker during an aerial refueling mission above an undisclosed location in the Gulf, in this undated handout picture released by US Air Force on August 1, 2019.
(photo credit: CHRIS DRZAZGOWSKI/US AIRFORCE/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

The US Central Command recently launched warplanes toward Iran from their base in the Persian Gulf after receiving reports that the country was preparing to attack Saudi Arabia, the Washington Post reported over the weekend.

The scrambling of the jets comes after Riyadh warned the US that Iran was planning an attack against both Saudi Arabia and Iraq, as reported by the Wall Street Journal on November 1.

In response to the credible threat of Iranian ballistic missile and drone attacks, the US military raised their alert level, with the White House National Security Council saying that it was "concerned about the threat" and in constant contact with the Gulf country. 

While the US did confirm the initial Wall Street Journal report, the White House declined to comment on more recent developments, and the reported launching of US warplanes.

"CENTCOM is committed to our long-standing strategic military partnership with Saudi Arabia," command spokesperson Joe Buccio told the Washington Post on Saturday. "We will not discuss operation details."

 US PRESIDENT Joe Biden and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman are among participants at an Arab summit in Jeddah, in July. (credit: EVELYN HOCKSTEIN/REUTERS) US PRESIDENT Joe Biden and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman are among participants at an Arab summit in Jeddah, in July. (credit: EVELYN HOCKSTEIN/REUTERS)

While the exact location from where the jets were scrambled is unclear, the US maintains significant air assets in the Persian Gulf, including F-22 fighter jets in Saudi Arabia.

Iran denies planning Saudi attack

However, on November 2, Iran denied that it posed a threat to the Gulf kingdom, with Iranian foreign ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani saying that the reports of an Iranian threat against Saudi Arabia were "baseless accusations" and untrue.

According to reports, Iran is planning these attacks against Saudi Arabia and Iraq as a way of drawing attention from the protests that have swept the country since mid-September. 

More than once, the country has blamed both the US and Saudi Arabia, as well as Israel, for the ongoing protests, even going so far as to launch a number of strikes against Kurdish militias in eastern Iraq shortly after they began.