U.S. Flies B-52 Stratofortress Bomber over Contested South China Sea

The US-led strike on a chemical weapons production center was conducted by fighter jets, ground-attack aircraft and even a B-52 heavy bomber
US Army/AFP/Sgt. Paige Behringer

The United States flew a B-52 Stratofortress bomber over the contested South China Sea on Tuesday, as China continues to aggressively pursue its territorial claims in the region.

The U.S. Pacific Air Forces, who oversee air operations in the region, said in a statement that the show of strength formed part of “routine training missions” in coordination with Japan.

“Two B-52H Stratofortress bombers took off from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, and participated in routine training missions, March 4, 2019,” the statement read.
“One bomber conducted training in the vicinity of the South China Sea before returning to Guam, while the other conducted training in the vicinity of Japan in coordination with the US Navy and alongside our Japanese air force counterparts before returning to Guam,” it continued.

The Twitter account Aircraft Spots tracked the flight on its journey Guam to the South China Sea west of the Philippines.

Over recent years, China has aggressively expanded operations of its naval and coast guard forces in an attempt to stake their claim on the territory, deploying weaponry including anti-ship missiles, surface-to-air missiles, and electronic jammers.

 Beijing insists their presence in the region are only for search and rescue and research purposes. However, they continue to claim most of the South China Sea, including territory belonging to Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei, Taiwan, and Malaysia.
Last week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reaffirmed Washington’s commitment to defend the Philippines should their forces be threatened by China, invoking a 1951 mutual defense treaty between the two countries affirming they would come to each other’s aid in case of an “armed attack in the Pacific area” on either party.
“Any armed attack on any Philippine forces, aircraft or public vessels in the South China Sea will trigger mutual defense obligations under article IV of our mutual defense treaty,” Pompeo said.

Follow Ben Kew on Facebook, Twitter at @ben_kew, or email him at bkew@breitbart.com.

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