Iran moving ballistic missiles by boat in the Persian Gulf
Iran is moving short-range ballistic missiles by boat in the Persian Gulf, a key reason the United States decided this week to move an aircraft carrier strike group and bombers to the area, CNN reported Tuesday.
On Tuesday US Central Command spokesperson Capt. Bill Urban said they had seen “indications that Iranian and Iranian proxy forces were making preparations to possibly attack US forces in the region.”
It’s not clear if Iran could launch the missiles from the boats or if they are transporting them to be used by Iranian forces on land.
The Pentagon is considering sending additional firepower to the region including anti-missile defense systems, the officials said. Iran’s actions could put US and coalition forces at risk in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Qatar.
The new maritime threat is also causing concern that Iranian-backed forces in Yemen could also move to threaten transit in the Red Sea. The US is not ruling out the possibility that Iran will strike US troop locations in Iraq and Syria, although Iran has been an ongoing threat there for some time.
Four B-52 bombers are being deployed to the Middle East. Two of the bombers are expected to leave Tuesday from Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, arriving at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar on Wednesday.
White House national security adviser John Bolton said on Sunday that the US was deploying a bomber task force and the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group to the U.S. Central Command region, an area that includes the Middle East.
The US strategy has been to make very public announcements about the carrier and bombers in the hope of deterring Iran from any action.