A pair of B-52s en route to the Persian Gulf were escorted by fighter jets belonging to the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) on Thursday; The planes are heading to the region amid the possibility of a military confrontation with Iran.

Amid growing Iranian aggression in the Middle East, the United States deployed a pair of B-52 Stratofortresses to the Persian Gulf from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota, USA. Last month, another set of B-52s were deployed from an Air Force base in Louisiana, USA, returning shortly after arriving in the region. This too was for the deterrence of Iranian aggression, as were the movements of other US military assets throughout the region, not only in the air but also via land and sea.

After flying through Israeli airspace, the B-52s were met and escorted by F-15 fighter jets belonging to the RSAF, and the two forces carried out a joint drill before arriving in the Gulf. The purpose of the drill was to enhance the two militaries’ coordination, hopefully increasing the region’s stability. Additionally, F-16 fighter jets are reported to have been included in the drill as well.