U.S. Deploys B-52 Bombers To Qatar, Ups Efforts Against ISIL
The United States Air Force deployed B-52 strategic bombers to Qatar on Saturday, which will begin targeting ISIL positions in Iraq and Syria soon.
U.S. Air Force officials said the long-range bombers that have arrived in Qatar were previously stationed in Saudi Arabia, and the last time they took part in military operations was in Afghanistan in May 2016.
“The B-52 will provide the coalition continued precision and deliver desired airpower effects,” Lieutenant General Charles Q. Brown Junior, commander of U.S. Air Forces central command said in a statement.
“As a multi-role platform, the B-52 offers diverse capabilities including delivery of precision weapons and the flexibility and endurance needed to support the combatant commander’s priorities and strengthen the coalition team.”
According to Lt. Gen. Brown the deployment of the B-52 illustrates their commitment to exert continued pressure on ISIL and defend the region when needed.
This is the first time the U.S. strategic bombers have been deployed in the region to fly operationally in theatre since the first Gulf War in 1991.
The B-52 was initially built to carry nuclear weapons but has only dropped conventional munitions in combat. The number of the bombers deployed hasn’t yet been disclosed.