Lots of people talking about some sort of impending kinetic operation over Iraq due to OSINT. Considering what is happening there, especially today's news, an increase of on-call strike aircraft, and especially ISR/networking aircraft, & tanker support, would not be unexpected.1/
This does not mean an operation is about to kick-off, although it's always possible. It does mean that coalition forces want to get a leg up on any possible hostile action & be ready to detect, fix, and kill a threat before it manifests itself fully or quickly after as well as 2/
being in a place to deter & respond to a major hostile action, especially by Iran. Not having to be in a fully reactionary, long-lead posture is precisely one of the reasons so much airpower is stacked in that region at any given time. You want it up, watching & ready 3/
when needed, if intelligence and the geopolitical winds give you relevant early warning.
If the Iranian-backed militias fully mobilize (not just say they are) against US forces in the country, you can see why having the capacity for an end-to-end kill chain in the air ready to go would be important, as well as to react to escalation with Iran. https://twitter.com/7ayder87/status/1342568520597590016?s=20
These assets could also strike militia bases at the first sign of an offensive and in support of Iraqi gov forces.
In other words, if these militias start striking US-related targets, they lose all their known bases. Huge counter response.