What Happened: U.S. F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jets have been flying surface combat air patrol operations over the Persian Gulf, according to a July 31 report by the U.S. Air Force on the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service.
Why It Matters: Armed patrols by U.S. fighter jets highlight the continued risk of a military confrontation between the United States and Iran after Tehran escalated its attacks on oil tankers in the Persian Gulf in response to increased U.S. sanctions pressure. Photos released by the U.S. military show the F-15Es armed with cluster ammunition, which is particularly effective in combating multiple small boats, a preferred offensive tactic by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Background: The strike fighters arrived at Al Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates in June and have been conducting operations over the Persian Gulf since then.
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