4 B-52s deploying to Middle East amid threat of "possible attack"

/ CBS/AP

U.S. sending forces to Mideast to warn Iran

Four B-52 bombers are being deployed to the Middle East in response to what administration officials said earlier this week are threats of a possible attack by Iran or allied fighters on American troops in the region. They are expected to leave on Tuesday from Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, CBS News national security correspondent David Martin reports.

White House national security adviser John Bolton said on Sunday that the U.S. was deploying a bomber task force and the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group to the U.S. Central Command region, an area that includes the Middle East. Bolton said the movement was in response to "a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings." He didn't provide details, but said the U.S. wants to send a "clear and unmistakable" message to Iran that "unrelenting force" would meet any attack on U.S. interests or those of its allies.

"The United States is not seeking war with the Iranian regime, but we are fully prepared to respond to any attack, whether by proxy, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or regular Iranian forces," he said.

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A Defense Department official told CBS News' Martin the U.S. has detected "a number of preparations for possible attack" on U.S. forces at sea and on land.

"There is more than one avenue of attack or possible attack that we're tracking," the official said

The official said the decision to order the deployment was made on Sunday.

First published on May 7, 2019 / 11:11 AM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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