US Air Force F-35s are playing a key role in protecting the skies off the coast of the Gulf countries. The US Air Force component of US Central Command said this week that the US Air Force “F-35 took to the skies to defend and protect the Central Arabian Gulf alongside the US Navy's USS McFaul. The joint coalition operation protects safe passage and defends freedom of maneuver for all vessels operating in Central Command’s region.”
McFaul is a destroyer ship that is posted to the Gulf region. Meanwhile, Iran’s Fars News ran an article on its homepage Monday showing a US carrier in the crosshairs with the headline “These are our territorial waters, go away.”
US AfCent, the US Air Force component of Central Command, said in late July that F-35s had deployed to the Gulf. The F-35 is a fifth-generation advanced warplane that has exceptional capabilities.
It is one of many air force assets recently sent to the region including the F-22s. The US has also deployed A-10s and sent B-52s to the region over the last year. All of this is meant to deter Iran and Russia.
US Navy also on alert in the region
US naval ships are also in the region to help protect ships from Iran’s attacks. This comes amid tensions with the offloading of oil from a ship off the coast of Texas.
That offloading is considered important because Iran has threatened the US against offloading the ship. Iran has often attacked ships in the Gulf in the last years, sometimes seizing tankers in order to get sanctions relief or to get debts unfrozen.
The US has sent the amphibious warship USS Bataan to the region as well as part of the force deployment necessary to deter Iran. The Bataan is a smaller version of an aircraft carrier. The Thomas Hudner, another destroyer, is also operating in the Gulf.
The US says these ships are there to show “commitment to freedom of commerce and navigation, a safe and secure maritime environment in the region.” The US also says the ships and planes are here to help deter Iran’s actions.
Fars News in Iran, which is close to the regime, ran a photo on Monday of a US ship in the crosshairs of an Iranian drone telling the US to “go away.” This was a clear message and threat.
Iran has also allegedly shown drone footage of the Bataan, another way that Iran releases images and propaganda to threaten the US and indicate that it can maneuver as it pleases in the Gulf. The recent videos claim to show that Iran has warned the US not to fly helicopters from its ships as they patrol the Persian Gulf.