Multiple B-1B Lancers took off Thursday from Ellsworth Air Force Base near Rapid City and flew to Saudi Arabia, according to the Air Force.

The B-1s have since returned home. The deployment was intended to demonstrate an ability to rapidly deploy anywhere and anytime in the world, and to demonstrate lethal strike options for military commanders, according to a news release.

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Editor's Note: This article by Oriana Pawlyk originally appeared onMilitary.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

B-1B Lancer bombers landed at an air base in Saudi Arabia this week, marking a surprise return of the long-range bombers to the Middle East after they were pulled early this year.

A series of videos from U.S. Air Forces Central Command and Air Force Global Strike Command posted on social media Friday showed the bombers taking off from Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota — home of the 28th Bomb Wing — and landing at Prince Sultan Air Base.

The service did not disclose how many of the non-nuclear bomber were sent, nor the duration of the aircrafts' deployment. Additional details were not provided by press time.

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States carried out a secret cyber operation against Iran in the wake of the Sept. 14 attacks on Saudi Arabia's oil facilities, which Washington and Riyadh blame on Tehran, two U.S. officials have told Reuters.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the operation took place in late September and took aim at Tehran's ability to spread "propaganda."

One of the officials said the strike affected physical hardware, but did not provide further details.

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WASHINGTON -- The United States is planning to send a large number of additional forces to Saudi Arabia following the Sept. 14 attack on its oil facilities, which Washington and Riyadh have blamed on Iran, the Pentagon announced on Friday

Defense Secretary Mark Esper authorized the deployment of 3,000 additional U.S. forces to Saudi Arabia, Chief Pentagon Spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman confirmed on Friday

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Recent Iranian success at striking military and civilian infrastructure targets in the Persian Gulf region have led the American military to practice switching operational control of military operations from bases located within range of Iranian missiles to bases in the United States that are out of harm's way.

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Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

The number of countries with military drones has skyrocketed over the past decade, a new report revealed, showing that nearly 100 countries have this kind of technology incorporated into their armed forces.

In 2010, around 60 countries had drones, but that number has since jumped to 95, a report from Bard College's Center for the Study of the Drone revealed. Dan Gettinger, the report's author, identified 171 different types of unmanned aerial vehicles in active inventories. Around the world, there are at least 21,000 drones in service, but the number may actually be significantly higher.

There are well over 200 military drone units operational in 58 different countries.

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