Washington: Senior US military officials anticipate an attack from Iran on US interests in the next two days to avenge the killing of its commander Qassem Soleimani. The United States has prepared for retaliation in that scenario and had repeatedly highlighted to Iran the dire consequences of such action. A B-52 bomber fleet was deployed to the Diego Garcia base in the Indian Ocean, a location which is beyond the range of Iran’s missiles. The bombers could easily target Iran if the need arises. At the same time, the United States organised an ‘Elephant Walk’ exercise at Utah with the super-advanced F-35A fighter jets in a show of strength.
The US military officials have said that Iran was preparing for a tit-for-tat assault against the United States. ‘Iran may target one of the senior army officials holding the ranks of Lieutenant General or General in the Middle East, to avenge the Iranian commander’s killing. Iran may launch the attacks in the next 48 hours, a US official informed on the condition of anonymity. The official stated that the US military officials in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, Iraq and Kuwait could be on Iran’s target.
On the other hand, Iran has stepped up the deployment of patrol vessels in the Persian Gulf. The patrol vessels can travel at high speeds and may likely attack the US assets in the Middle East. The ships may reportedly target the most extensive US military base located in Kuwait or the warships from the US Navy Fifth Fleet deployed in Bahrain’s waters.
Nearly 66,000 US troops are present in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Jordan and Turkey. The British media claims that Iran may fire missiles at the US military bases in the Middle East. Considering the developments, the US is said to have deployed its B-52 bombers at the Diego Garcia base in the Indian ocean, which is out of the reach for the Iranian missiles.
The Pentagon officials divulged the information in an interview to a leading US news channel. Iran has hidden a massive stockpile of missiles in underground tunnels and mountainous terrain. The B-52 bombers are loaded with bunker-buster bombs, which can destroy the Iranian stockpile. Analysts across the globe have, therefore, asserted that the B-52 planes dispatched at Diego Garcia were extremely crucial.
Amid the developments in the Middle East, the United States put up a show of strength, and staged an ‘Elephant Walk’ at the Utah base with fifty-two super-advanced F-35 fighter jets. The F-35s are capable of speeds up to 1930 kilometres per hour and can reach Iran within minutes from the United States.
The United States Air Force had thus organised the exercise to demonstrate its strength. In the drill, three squadrons of the fighter jets fly continuously in a specific formation. Interestingly, the US Air Force claims that the taxiing of the super-advanced aircraft causes the ground to shake which they liken to the walk of an elephant herd that rocks the jungle.