The United States has deployed F-22 fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates as Yemeni forces mount their airstrikes on the Persian Gulf country in retaliation for the devastating Saudi-led war.
In a statement, the US Air Force announced that the Raptors had arrived at al-Dhafra Air Base in Abu Dhabi, which hosts some 2,000 American troops, as part of a multifaceted demonstration of US support for the UAE.
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, it said, had ordered the rapid deployment of the fifth-generation aircraft in coordination with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
American officials declined to say the number of the F-22s or the airmen supporting them, citing operational security.
However, they identified the unit involved as the 1st Fighter Wing, located at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Virginia.
A photo later released by the US Air Force showed six F-22s in a line on a taxiway at al-Dhafra Air Base.
“The Raptors’ presence will bolster already strong partner nation defenses and puts destabilizing forces on notice that the US and our partners are committed to enabling peace and stability in the region,” said Lieutenant General Greg Guillot, the commander of the US Air Force’s Mideast command.
Reports say the American military has recently sent the guided missile destroyer USS Cole on a mission to Abu Dhabi.
Source: Press TV