Israeli warplanes taking up position in Iraq?
" Like attacking the US military base at Hadita !"
Iraqi Defense Ministry officials told local media on Friday that Israeli warplanes operating out of a US airbase are conducting exercises in their country for a possible strike on neighboring Iran. According to the sources, the Israeli planes enter Iraq via Jordanian airspace during the night, and then land at a US military base near the Iraqi city of Hadita.
If Israel ultimately decides to launch a aerial strike against Iran’s main uranium enrichment facility, taking off from Hadita would cut the flight time to the target down to about five minutes.
Israeli defense experts later called Iran’s bluff, explaining that based on the photos Iran so proudly distributed to the international media, it was fairly clear that the Islamic Republic is in fact not in possession of a large arsenal of weapons that can reach the Jewish state.
Iran claimed that it had tested a new version of its Shihab-3 missile with an improved range capable of hitting any target in Israel. But the Israelis said the missiles shown in the photos are the old version of the Shihab-3, which has a maximum range just short of the Jewish state.
Furthermore, the older Shihab-3 missiles use a liquid fuel, making them far easier to detect and destroy prior to launch.
The sources also said the American bases in Iraq might serve as a platform for the IAF from which to attack Iran. If Israeli warplanes will take off from Iraq, they can reach Bushehr in five minutes - a "record time," the sources said.
After reports of a massive IAF exercise over the Mediterranean surfaced several weeks ago, an Israeli official told the times that the drill was "the dress rehearsal" for an attack on Iran's nuclear sites.
On Thursday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Israel was the "strongest country in the region." Sending a thinly veiled warning to Iran, Barak said Israel "has already proved it did not shy away in the past from acting when it fears its vital interests are at stake."