Up to a dozen US F-22A Raptor Stealth Jets have touched down at the US Air Base Al-Udeid in Qatar amid soaring tensions with Iran, and as the Pentagon continues to bolster its forces in the gulf after the recent prepared military attack called off by President Trump at the last minute.
The aerial defense analysis site, The Aviationist, confirmed the new US stealth jet deployment and noted, "While it’s still not confirmed that the deployment of the Raptor was just a pre-planned rotation to the region (rather than part of a build up of forces around Iran), according to rumors, more tactical assets are being moved to the Gulf area in the following days."
#BREAKING: Twelve F-22A 5th Gen. fighter jets of 94th Fighter Squadron, 1st Fighter Wing arrived Al-Udeid AB, #Qatar in-order to reinforce #USAF's combat capability in #MiddleEast for confronting hostile activities of #Iran's Islamic Regime in the region when it is necessary. pic.twitter.com/1MAfD8dft5— Babak Taghvaee (@BabakTaghvaee) June 28, 2019
On Thursday at least nine of the reported dozen F-22 Raptors belonging to the 192nd Fighter Wing of the Virginia Air National Guard were documented by local photographers as departing Moron Air Base in southern Spain, having been deployed from Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia.
They flew over the Mediterranean and landed in Qatar, despite their usual deployment base to the region being Al Dhafra in UAE, according to The Aviationist.
This suggests the Pentagon is still on a war footing with Iran, positioning forces and advanced stealth fighters to have maximum readiness should hostilities break out.
Early last month the US deployed a group of B-52 strategic bombers as part of in response to what the Defense Department described as “troubling and escalatory indications and warnings” related to Iran, as well as the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group to the Persian Gulf region.
Since then it's been nothing but escalation following alleged tanker attacks as well as the recent US drone shoot down by Iran's military.