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US B-52 bomber again flies over Mideast amid Iran tensions


              In this Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021 handout photo, released by the U.S. Air Force, a B-52 bomber from the 2nd Bomb Wing of Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, right, flies with Royal Saudi Air Force F-15s during a mission in the Middle East. The U.S. military said Wednesday it again flew a B-52 bomber over the Middle East "to deter potential aggression" amid tensions with Iran. (U.S. Air Force/Senior Airman Roslyn Ward, via AP)
In this Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021 handout photo, released by the U.S. Air Force, a B-52 bomber from the 2nd Bomb Wing of Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, right, flies with Royal Saudi Air Force F-15s during a mission in the Middle East. The U.S. military said Wednesday it again flew a B-52 bomber over the Middle East "to deter potential aggression" amid tensions with Iran. (U.S. Air Force/Senior Airman Roslyn Ward, via AP)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The U.S. military said Wednesday it again flew a B-52 bomber over the Middle East “to deter potential aggression” amid tensions with Iran, the first such flight under President Joe Biden.

The B-52 flew nonstop from Louisiana's Barksdale Air Force Base into the region earlier in the day. The plane went over both the Persian Gulf and Saudi Arabia, according to flight-tracking data.

The U.S. military's Central Command later published images of the bomber flying alongside Royal Saudi Air Force F-15s.

While not mentioning Iran in its statement, Central Command said the flight was meant to “showcase the U.S. commitment to regional security.”

The flights, the third-such operation this year, had become common in the last months of former President Donald Trump's administration. Trump's 2018 decision to unilaterally withdraw from Iran's nuclear deal with world powers sparked a series of escalating incidents in the region.

Biden has expressed a desire to return to the deal if Iran honors the deal's limits on its nuclear program.

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