The US Air Force has deployed its F-22 Raptor stealth jet fighters to its military base the Persian Gulf state of Qatar amid a continued show-of-force effort in the strategic region following Washington’s recent provocations against Tehran and Iran’s shot-down of an intruding US spy drone in the Strait of Hormuz.
The US Central Command (CENTCOM) announced on Friday that the warplanes have arrived in Qatar’s al-Udeid Air Base for the first time to “defend American forces and interests,” US-based news outlet Military.com reported without specifying the number of the deployed aircraft. It further noted that nearly a dozen F-22s are already based in the region.
Al-Udeid serves as one of US military’s most important air bases in the region with operations launched from there throughout the Middle East. The base plays host to nearly 11,000 American and US-led coalition forces and more than 100 operational war planes.