US speeds up anti-IS fight in the Middle East

(VOVworld) – The US has deployed B-52 bombers to the Al Udeid base in Qatar along with enhanced military activities to fight IS in Syria and Iraq. This has been the first time the aircraft have been based in the Middle East since the end of the Gulf War in 1991. It illustrates the US’ strong engagement in the fight against IS.

US speeds up anti-IS fight in the Middle East - ảnh 1
A US Air Force B-52 Stratofortress from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, touches down at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, April 9, 2016.
Reuters/U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Corey Hook/Handout via Reuters

The B-52 bombers have been mobilized from Barksdale airbase in Louisiana to Al Udeid in Qatar. The bombers would be able to deliver precision weapons and carry out a range of missions, including strategic attack, close-air support, air interdiction, and maritime operations.
Air Force Lieutenant General Charles Brown, commander of US Air Forces Central Command, said the B-52 demonstrates Washington’s continued resolve to apply persistent pressure on IS and defend the region in any future contingency. Brown said the deployment was made because accuracy was critically important in this war. “Carpet-bombing would not be effective for the operation because IS militants don't mass as large groups. Often they blend into population centres.” he said.

The US-led coalition force against IS is stationed at Al Edeid airbase in Qatar. The number of US airstrikes in February had dropped to its lowest level compared to the previous 8 months. The decision to deploy B-52 bombers to the Middle East was announced 3 days after President Obama’s commitment to speed up the fight against the militants.

The US Navy is leading a 30-nation maritime exercise across Middle Eastern waters, which it says will help protect international trade routes against possible threats, including from IS and Al-Qaeda. The exercise is designed to prevent armed forces from seizing cargo ships.
It consists of maneuvers combating terrorism and disposing of bombs and torpedoes in the sea. The exercise, partly being held in the Arabian Gulf, comes as tensions run high between Gulf Arab countries and Iran over its role in the region, including its su pport for President Bashar Assad, for the Houthis in Yemen and for Hezbollah in Lebanon.

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