In a powerful message of regional military coordination and resolve against the Iranian terror regime, two massive U.S. Air Force B-52H strategic bombers carried out a 36-hour round-trip mission from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, to the Persian Gulf on December 9 and 10. More significantly, they were escorted for a time by jet fighters from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain.
In the case of Saudi Arabia, Saudi Royal Air Force (SRAF)F-15 fighter jets did the escorting.
The two US Air Force B-52H bombers carried out a 36-hour round-trip from Louisiana to the Persian Gulf, and were escorted by Saudi fighter jets for part of the mission.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) December 12, 2020
According to the Saudi Ministry of Defense, reported by Saudi24News, the Saudi fighter escort occurred on the 10th of December, as the nuclear-capable American B-52 Stratofortress bombers crossed Saudi airspace. The same source stated that these aircraft could launch a large payload of multiple weapons and hit their targets accurately “deep in enemy territory.”
The Saudi Defense Ministry source also noted that the Kingdom is working with its international partners on a permanent basis to improve the coordination, adding that the SRAF is working with its allied counterparts to achieve “integration between communications, planning and technical systems.”
CBS News reported that while the bombers, which flew across the Atlantic and Europe, through the Arabian Peninsula, and down the Persian Gulf, got near Iran, they continued “making a wide loop near Qatar and staying a safe distance from Iran’s coastline before returning home.”
The aerial tracks of the B-52s were noted by several online sources. We can see them here in this tweet.
According to Popular Mechanics, as the bombers then continued west into the Mediterranean, they were briefly picked up by two RAF Typhoon jet fighters who escorted them as they passed the island of Cyprus.
Once over foreign airspace, U.S. bombers deployed to Europe and Asia are generally escorted by allied jet fighters such as the Japanese, South Korean, Norwegian, Dutch, Polish, and, in this case, British.