JERUSALEM – In what was a clear message to Iran, an IAF video has been released showing a tanker refueling a fighter jet in mid-flight. The Israeli military says it has carried a “special long-range flight exercise” and posted rare footage of the drill online.
The military said Thursday that its squadrons practiced refueling planes in midair this week and tested the air force’s ability. The release of the video comes just days before Western powers are to open new nuclear talks with Iran.
Israeli officials said the drill took place over Greece, who is a key regional ally. The Israeli military has done similar drills in the past, however, never before has footage of the exercise been released and so publicly displayed. The footage aims to send a message to Iran before the talks that is two-fold: first, a credible military options remains, and a doable military option remains.
The second message is crucial, because many experts have said that Israel does not have the capacity to strike Iranian nuclear targets alone. With the U.S. engaging in talk with the regime for the first time in 30 years, Israelis have been pushed on the fringe of the world community, isolated in the latest move by an American leader with a habit of giving allies reason to doubt our nation’s resolve.
The exercise took place in the area of Greece, with the participation of dozens of IAF jets, demonstrating a powerful airstrike could be delivered thousands of miles from Israeli borders. They rehearsed midair refueling and attacks against remote targets.
The documentation is being published just as the so-called P 5+1 powers are preparing to resume talks with Iran — not regarding Iran — over its nuclear program next month.
The IAF website wrote that “When people say that ‘all options are on the table,’ one understands that they are also talking about military options. The IAF – the long arm of the IDF – is responsible for implementing this option if need be, and to this end, the squadrons are rehearsing and strengthening their capabilities.
“In this field, the IAF has to develop the relevant abilities for operations, from a focused operation to a wide-ranging one,” the site stated.
Jerusalem fully intents to make sure that the upcoming talks are accompanied by credible military threats, making crystal clear that — as far as Israeli leadership is concerned — should talks be a failure it will be a green light for military action.