It was the most startling revelation so far. Yoav Limor, a veteran Israeli military correspondent for ‘Israel Today,’ wrote a detailed account of what an Israeli airstrike on Iran’s nuclear sites would look like. So far, at the Vienna talks, Tehran shows every indication that it is determined to acquire nuclear weapons, and the negotiations with the US will not yield any significant concessions. So, how is Israel likely to respond in light of the current reality?
When two other Muslim states, first Iraq and then Syria, adopted a similar goal, Israel took action and sent jets to destroy their nuclear reactors. Today, the Jewish state faces an even more dangerous threat from Iran that has learned the lesson by building its atomic facilities deep underground at various locations. Moreover, the distance is far greater, with some 1,300 kilometers between Israel and Iran, which means a mission would require mid-air refueling and far more destructive bombs.
Following an interview with a senior IDF officer, Israel Today’s correspondent, Yoav Limor, has compiled the most comprehensive account of what such scenario might entail:
It will be a complex (Israeli) attack that requires hundreds of aircraft. It can be assumed that the most advanced F-35 fighter bombers will destroy Iran’s air defenses, then F-15’s and F-16’s will follow to release their munitions on the nuclear targets.
Israel’s naval forces will advance to the Persian Gulf, and some of Iran’s underground nuclear sites will require IDF ground forces, who will arrive secretly and plant explosives that will aid in destroying them.
In the past six months, the IDF has been feverishly preparing the military option against Iran and the required “basket” of weapons. This necessitates strategic planning and diplomatic coordination in the international arena and preparing for a military response from Iran through its allies, Hezbollah in south Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza.
This will not be a situation that someone decides from one day to the next, and within 24 hours, there will be (Israeli) aircraft flying over Iran.
A senior officer added, “It takes a long time to prepare such a campaign because our assessment is, this will not be an attack, but war!” It is an unprecedented description of what may lie ahead if the Vienna talks fail. It can also be assumed that Jerusalem is deeply concerned that the US may cave in to Iran’s refusal to halt its current nuclear weapons campaign.
There are other intriguing aspects – obviously, the selection of Israeli pilots will be very intensive. One veteran pilot was quoted as saying, “Every one of us dreams of participating in such a mission … there will be a world war among the pilots about participating in it.”
It can be assumed that the senior IDF officer interviewed was cleared to disclose these details, and maybe because Jerusalem is worried the US may give in to Iran’s demands in Vienna. Or are there other motives involved? At this point, there’s no way of telling. The interview was publicized on December 17th, and apparently, it was approved by the Israeli censor.
Of course, there is no script for such a complicated military strike, and as such, such a complex operation is bound to run into unexpected problems – aircraft could be shot down or forced to make emergency landings. Pilots might have to bail out over enemy territory; therefore, Israeli pilots would have to undergo special mental training above and beyond the normal procedure. Naturally, the political echelon would have to assess estimates of Israeli military and civilian casualties for such a complex operation. However, it can be assumed that all systems would be go, bearing in mind the specter of a nuclear-armed Iran.
Surprisingly, the Israel Today expose’ has not sparked much of a public reaction. How come? The existential threat posed by Iran is a fact of life in this country, whose citizens have total faith in Israeli pilots, who they believe are the best and bravest in the world, flying the best American aircraft.
Israel continues to build alliances with Gulf states …
Shiite Muslim Iran poses not only a grave threat to Israel but also to Arab states in the Gulf, which are also deeply concerned about Tehran’s campaign to acquire regional dominance. Bear in mind, Iranians and Arabs are two different peoples from two different Muslim religions that are often in war-like conditions, such as the Protestants and Catholics in Christianity.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has just returned from a cordial visit to the UAE in the Gulf, a nation also threatened by Iran. Bennett and Crown Prince Muhamed bin Zayed obviously discussed the stalled Vienna negotiations and their common Iranian threat. The former Israeli PM, Benjamin Netanyahu, started building diplomatic bridges with the Gulf states, and the Iranian missile strike on Saudi oil refineries last year sent shockwaves throughout the region. In the past, PM Bennett has raised the possibility of a regional defense pact to protect Israel’s new Arab allies from more Iranian missile strikes.
Ukraine recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital …
Not only the Gulf Arab states are warming up to the Jewish state, but Ukraine has also just recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The Ukrainian ambassador to Israel declared:
“My country recognizes only one and sole capital of Israel, and that is Jerusalem. President Valinskry will visit Jerusalem in the new year and open an embassy that will also deal with the economic and technological cooperation.”
Last week, President Zelensky spoke of the Ukraine preparations to face a possible Russian invasion and compared the Ukrainian and Jewish peoples:
“We know what it means to be without our own state. We also know what it means to defend our land with weapons in hand, even if it means we will pay with our lives.”
President Zelensky added, “Ukrainians and also Jews appreciate the value of freedom. These two peoples are working for their states’ futures and its vision. Often Israel serves as an example to the Ukrainian people.”