Ready to strike? F-16 plane
Photo: AP

Report: IDF rehearsed for Iran strike over Gibraltar

French weekly L'Express says IAF planes recently staged maneuvers between Israel, British colony near southern Spain, in preparation for attack on Iranian nuclear facilities

While the United States is talking about a dialogue with Iran , Israel may be preparing for the second option: Israel Air Forces planes recently staged maneuvers between Israel and the British colony of Gibraltar near southern Spain, French weekly L'Express reported over the weekend.


According to the report, the exercise was carried out some 3,800 kilometers away from Israel and proves that the Israel Defense Forces plans to strike in Iran if Tehran continues with its refusal to cooperate with the international community in regards to its nuclear plan.


Two weeks ago, the London Times reported that the Israeli military was preparing to launch a massive aerial assault on Iran's nuclear facilities within days of being given the go-ahead by its new government.


"Israel wants to know that if its forces were given the green light they could strike at Iran in a matter of days, even hours. They are making preparations on every level for this eventuality. The message to Iran is that the threat is not just words,” the report quoted a senior defense establishment official as saying.


Among the steps taken to ready Israeli forces for what would be a risky raid, requiring pinpoint aerial strikes, were the acquisition of three Airborne Warning and Control (AWAC) aircraft and regional missions to simulate the attack, the report said.


The Times also noted that among recent preparations by the Air Force was the Israeli attack of a weapons convoy in Sudan bound for militants in the Gaza Strip.


In June, The New York Times quoted US officials as saying Israel carried out a large military exercise that appeared to be a rehearsal for a potential bombing attack on Iran's nuclear facilities.


Citing unidentified American officials, the newspaper said more than 100 Israeli F-16 and F-15 fighters took part in the maneuvers over the eastern Mediterranean and Greece in the first week of June.


It said the exercise appeared to be an effort to focus on long-range strikes and illustrates the seriousness with which Israel views Iran's nuclear program.


פרסום ראשון: 05.03.09, 07:54
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