The big question is not ‘if’ Israel will attack Iran – it will sooner or later – but more a question of how it will attack Iran and what will precipitate the attack.
A report today in the ‘Jerusalem Post’ claims that the Israeli Air force have been practicing dog-fights between their F-16s and MiG-29s of a type similar to the 40 or so MiG-29s the Iranian air force operate. The report also stated that the F-16s have been flying under maximum all-up weight conditions with full fuel and armaments simulating long-range mission flying.
However, when one considers the logistics of an Israeli attack on Iran, one is left wondering if the job is even at all possible. The main problem is the route the aircraft will have to take to get to Iran.
The shortest route, of course, is the direct one, but this route, from probably either the Ramet David air base or the Hatzerim air base in Israel to the various targets around Iran is around 1600 kilometres and would involve overflying at least Jordan and Iraq. Since the F-16 aircraft only have a combat radius of around 550 kilometres at best, an out and back sortie to targets over Iran will require around four or five 5 refuels. In itself, this is not a problem; the Israeli air force has a number of in-flight refueller tanker aircraft. The problem is that the refueller aircraft will have to either wait inside hostile airspace over Iran to refuel strike aircraft that have had to attack targets in eastern and maybe north-eastern Iran or wait in international airspace over the Persian Gulf or further east over the Arabian Sea. Either way, they will be vulnerable to Iranian anti-aircraft missiles and/or Iranian fighters. This means that the tanker aircraft will need a fighter escort – hence the dog-fight practice with MiG-29s. The tankers, however, will only be important targets for the Iranians as the Israeli strike force is in-coming rather than when they are leaving when, one assumes, the damage has been done and therefore not worth the Iranians losing aircraft to a withdrawing strike force.
Whether or not Israel would be able to persuade Jordan to allow Israeli strike aircraft to overfly Jordan is questionable. If Israel did decide to go the direct route it may consider it too much of a security risk to ask the Jordanians and may consider it easier to simply do it without their permission and worry about the diplomatic consequences later. Overflying Iraq will be even more of a problem than overflying Jordan. If the Iraqi government have anything to do with it then it simply won’t happen. The US is unlikely to allow it if for no other reason than it will immeasurably set back relations between Iraq and the US with the possibility of triggering a massive backlash against the Iraqi government and US forces.
Given these considerations, it is unlikely that Israel will be able to make a pre-emptive unilateral strike against Iran by the direct route that involves overflying Jordan and Iraq.
It would seem that the only way Israel could possibly make a pre-emptive unilateral strike against Iran would be by covertly deploying its submarine fleet – Israel has three Dolphin class submarines – to the Arabian Sea from where it could launch a Tomahawk cruise missile attack against Iran’s nuclear facilities. The problem here though is that cruise missiles do not have the capacity to do the kind of damage required to completely destroy all of Iran’s facilities, many of which are well protected underground.
However, since Israel is fully aware of the fact that Iran actually has no nuclear weapons program, despite the propaganda and rhetoric claiming they do, it may well be that Israel is willing to go down this route if only to trigger a response from the Iranians that will either drag in the US to a rapidly escalating conflict or, at least, get the US to allow an air strike against Iranian governmental and defence institutions with the hope that the US will join the fight later as the Iranians threaten or initiate retaliation.
The submarine scenario could well be a starter especially considering the logistical problems associated with a direct air strike. It may also turn out that the ‘practice’ dog-fights and all-up weight fully loaded flying is just a feint to get the Iranians to prepare for an aerial assault when really the Israelis are planning a cruise missile attack to be followed up by an aerial assault.
The Israelis do have a number of other alternatives to initiating a strike against the Iranians. While the indirect provocation method, which is where Israel creates a fake or weak casus belli to attack Hezbollah or Hamas in order to drag in Iran, hasn’t worked so far in creating circumstances where Israel could claim being threatened by Iran because of either Hezbollah of Hamas actions, it might be willing to give this method another try. Firstly, it has the advantage of killing several birds during one big confrontation rather than a few little risky wars that may or may not work in Israel’s favour and turning public opinion even further against them. At least with the final confrontation scenario it is fait accompli and, in the end, it is all over and done with one way or the other. It will also guarantee US involvement even though the US may be reluctant; it may well be forced into a position where it has no option but to support Israel in knocking out Iran.
Alternatively, the Israelis may consider trying some kind of false flag operation against either Israel or the US, though more likely against Israel considering the current slight thawing of relations between Iran and the US, which will give Israel casus belli to directly attack.
Whatever way the Israelis find to attack their enemies, the world can be assured that it is only a matter of time and, as usual, the Israelis will play the role of victim in doing so.
For the Zionists, regime change in Iran is essential for their endgame of a Greater Israel. Irans non-existent nuclear weapons program is the ploy; all they need to do now is find a casus belli that suits their propaganda needs or to play the fait accompli card or both.
President Obama has sent a message to Netanyahu telling him not to ‘surprise him’ with a strike against Iran.
The reality is; there is no way the Israelis could ‘surprise’ the US any way. Israel will need massive amounts of military jet fuel stockpiled for such an attack and its aftermath which it gets from the US. Most of the munitions needed for such a strike also comes from the US. There is no way that Israel can fly any missions over Iraq without US permission if the Israelis choose to attack Iran by strike aircraft. Tomahawk cruise missiles launched from submarines also come from the US though Israel may have already stockpiled these.
There are few options left if Israel is determined to strike Iran. Only a false flag attack against Israel or a provoked war against Hezbollah and/or Hamas will now get the US on side for Israel to attack Iran.
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