Exercise will take place over Mediterranean Sea. "The aim is to prepare for every eventuality; we will not allow Iran to go nuclear."
The Israeli Air Force is currently in the midst of preparations for a broad-ranging exercise in which dozens of airplanes will participate, in preparation for a possible attack on Iran.
According to a report on Channel 11, the exercise will take place in the coming spring over the Mediterranean Sea, and will be held openly. Enhanced budgets have been allotted toward this exercise, which involves, among other things, flights of over 1000 kilometers in length, similar to what pilots would be traveling if they were headed to Iran.
Three months ago, IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi announced that the IDF was accelerating its plans for scenarios involving attacks on Iran – the announcement was made partly as a message to the world in order to convey Israel’s intentions and the seriousness with which it regards the current situation.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday night Defense Minister Benny Gantz departed for Washington D.C., where he will be holding talks with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on possible military options for destroying Iran’s nuclear facilities, in the event that diplomacy fails. The talks between Gantz and Austin follow an October 25 briefing by Pentagon leaders to White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, on the full set of military options available to ensure Iran does not become capable of producing a nuclear weapon.
Gantz is expected to request of the United States that it continue to exert pressure on Iran – via retaining substantial armed forces in the Middle East, as well as taking steps to display its might against the Islamic regime. Israel is working under the assumption that such steps will be seen as more significant if they occur within the timeframe of the nuclear talks in Vienna which are set to resume on Thursday, and that with the talks appearing to have stalled, a show of force could prove effective.
Gantz has also assessed that now is the right time to advance what in the United States is known as “Plan B” – that is, sanctions along with a credible military threat. Prior to leaving for Washington, Gantz met with Kochavi and also with the head of IDF Military Intelligence, in order to be updated on the latest developments with regard to the Iran issue.
Commenting on the aerial exercise, Housing and Construction Minister Zeev Elkin (New Hope) told KanNews, “The aim is for us to prepare for every eventuality. Israel needs to be ready for any scenario; we will not allow Iran to go nuclear. Unfortunately, Israel has shown weakness in the past, and it’s vital that we address the situation alertly now.
“Anyone with eyes in his head can see that the Iranians are trying to entrench themselves in Syria,” Elkin added. “We are doing everything that we can and so far, we have had a large number of successes. I’m not going to relate to anything specific, but Israel has red lines,” he concluded.
Israel National News