US continues strengthening Middle East military with F-35s, F-16s, and more ships – Analysis

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In the wake of US officials’ recent announcement regarding the dispatch of F-16s and the guided-missile destroyer USS Thomas Hudner to the region, further reports surfaced on Tuesday, revealing additional warplanes being sent by the US. This unfolding scenario seems to signify a mounting crescendo of communication strategically aimed at deterring Iran and Russia.

It is pertinent to recall that the US has already deployed F-22s, A-10s, and conducted flights with B-52s in the region. The Central Command (CENTCOM) area of responsibility is abundantly equipped with US Air Force assets and various other weaponry. Nevertheless, the deliberate decision to continually disclose specifics about these deployments unmistakably underscores the US’s messaging intent towards Iran and Russia.

US Forces endure ongoing harassment and threats from Russia and Iran in the Middle East

US forces encounter Russian harassment in Syria amid Ukraine focus; Moscow blocks UN aid deal via Turkey, threatening Northwest Syria’s stability.Additionally, Russia aims to undermine US Security in Eastern Syria, while Iran poses threats to US Forces in Iraq and Syria, and conducts harassment in the Persian Gulf.

Hence, the United States finds itself facing a multitude of areas to safeguard. A recently unveiled image from the Department of Defense captures a US soldier stationed in Kuwait engaged in counter-drone operations practice.

On Friday, reports emerged of the US intending to dispatch additional F-16s, and subsequently, over the weekend, another report surfaced, indicating the deployment of a guided-missile destroyer through the Suez Canal. The USS Thomas Hudner, which reached the Middle East on July 14, is set to reinforce US 5th fleet operations and contribute to the objective of regional maritime security and stability, as stated by the US.

Pro-Iran media, particularly Al-Mayadeen, has taken notice of these developments, highlighting the US’s increased sending of naval and air assets to the region.

Recent reports reveal the US’s deployment of F-35s in the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman to protect US interests and ensure freedom of navigation. With past incidents of Iran targeting ships using mines and hijacking tankers, securing these crucial waterways gains paramount importance. Concerns escalate as Iran employs drones for ship targeting.

Pentagon’s deputy press secretary, Sabrina Singh, confirmed the deployment, stating that some fighter jets are en route. The move is in response to Iran’s ongoing threat, with coordinated efforts alongside allies to bolster monitoring in the Strait of Hormuz and surrounding waters.

While the increased presence of planes, including public claims of more F-16s and F-35s, intends to send a message to Moscow and Tehran, the effectiveness of deterrence remains uncertain.

Meanwhile, the US explores unmanned surface vessels in the Gulf for surveillance; however, their unarmed nature limits kinetic responses to enemy activity. Iran understands these challenges, knowing that patrolling and safeguarding every vessel in the region pose significant difficulties for a few fighter planes and ships.