US deploys F-22 stealth fighters to Qatar for 1st time

The United States has deployed F-22 stealth fighters to Qatar for the first time, its military said yesterday. The announcement adds to a buildup of US forces in the Gulf amid tensions with Iran.

The US Air Forces Central Military Command stated that the Air Force F-22 Raptor stealth fighters have been deployed to defend American forces and interests. The number of hi-tech planes sent was not specified.

Tehran and Washington have been locked in an escalating standoff since US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from a multi-party 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and reimposed sanctions on the Islamic republic.

Tensions spiked last week when Iran shot down a US drone over sensitive Gulf waters following a series of tanker attacks that Washington blamed on Tehran, which has denied involvement. In May, the US Air Force deployed several nuclear-capable B-52 Stratofortress bombers and an aircraft carrier task force to the Gulf.

The Hindu

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