Both Iran and the U.S. are flexing their muscles in the region.
Tensions are rising as Iran and the United States beef up their presence in Middle Eastern waters. The Pentagon said it would deploy a destroyer, the USS Thomas Hudner, and F-35 fighter jets to the Gulf of Oman and Strait of Hormuz, having deployed F-16 fighter jets, an A-10 attack aircraft, and a guided-missile destroyer, the USS McFaul, last week. Washington has yet to indicate how long these vessels will be in the region, saying they are there to monitor security and support protection efforts for local shipping lanes.
Iran responded by staging not-so-subtle military exercises simulating an attack in the strait. Far offshore deep into central Iran, the exercise included more than 90 aircraft, including fighter jets, drones and bombers, pulling heavily from Bandar Abbas base, which sits at the mouth of the Strait of Hormuz, hinting that the drills could help personnel prepare for attacks against foreign actors protecting commercial vessels passing through and monitoring the Gulf of Oman.
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