F-15E “Strike Eagles” fighters of the US Air Force they have joined the naval and surface combat exercises in the Persian Gulf as tensions with Iran continue to increase , the Visual Information Broadcasting Service (DVIDS) of the US Department of Defense reported.
The fighters are supposedly based at the Al-Dafra air base in the United Arab Emirates and are attached to the 336th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron and equipped with cluster bombs.
“Its function [F-15E] is to carry out combat missions to patrol the airspace over the Persian Gulf and provide air escort to ships that cross the Strait of Hormuz. The F-15E is a two-person fighter designed for air and land missions, and currently conducts land air combat patrols (air defense) to ensure free and open maritime trade in the region.”
According to The Drive, some of these fighters have been equipped with Ammunition Wind Feeders (AWFDs), GPS-controlled navigation systems that can carry a variety of cluster munitions. In addition to cluster pumps, the F-15E is equipped with two medium-range AIM 120C (AMRAAM) air-to-air missiles and two AIM 9-X Sidewinder short-range infrared missile carriers .
Tensions already existing in the region worsened in early July, when Iran seized a British flag tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, a few weeks after the seizure of an Iranian ship off the coast of Gibraltar.
After the incident, the United States announced that it was trying to establish a naval force, known as Operation Sentinel, to improve security in the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz, the Strait of Bab El Mandeb and the Strait of Oman, following the recent “sabotage attacks” against tankers.
Washington accused Iran of alleged attacks that in turn refuted the accusations and accused the United States and its regional allies of “inciting war” and “false flag operations.”
In line with the US strategy of “maximum pressure” on Iran, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo invited Germany, France and the United Kingdom to a new international coalition with Japan, Australia, Norway, South Korea and other countries.
While Berlin refused to participate, London announced its own plans to “organize a mission to protect the sea under European leadership” in response to the hijacking of a British flag ship.
Relations between Iran and the United States have been in a downward spiral since May 2018, when President Donald Trump decided to withdraw from the nuclear agreement signed between Obama and Tehran and renewed all sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran, threatening to impose additional sanctions. to other countries with agreements with Iran.
On the anniversary of Trump‘s withdrawal from the agreement, Iran informed the other parties of the agreement, France, Britain, Germany, Russia, China and the European Union, that it would suspend compliance with some of its voluntary commitments and gave them 60 days to secure Tehran’s interests under the agreement.
In June 2019, when Iran announced the demolition of a US military drone. UU. In international airspace, it almost became a direct confrontation. The United States insisted that the drone fly over international waters, while Trump ordered, and abruptly canceled, an air strike against three Iranian sites just 10 minutes before it took place.
The president of the United States explained that he was told that about 150 Iranians would die in the attack, which, in his opinion, was disproportionate compared to the loss of an unmanned aerial vehicle. However, he said he had just stopped the attack “at this time.”