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In message to Iran, Israeli fighter jets escort US bombers returning from Persian Gulf

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Israeli F-16i fighter jets escorted two American B-52 bombers as they made their way through Israeli airspace on their way back from the Persian Gulf, the Israeli military says, in an apparent show of force to Iran amid lingering tensions in the region.

“The flight was held as part of close cooperation with the US military, which represents a significant element in ensuring the security of the State of Israel’s airspace and the Middle East,” the Israel Defense Forces says in a statement.

Israeli jets escorting American bombers have become a regular fixture in the skies of the Middle East in recent months, as tensions between Tehran and the West have risen amid an attempt to negotiate a new deal that would block the Islamic Republic from obtaining nuclear weapons in exchange for sanctions relief.

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