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Thursday, August 05, 2010

Why Israel worries about Turkey

Most of the stories I have seen that discuss Israel's concerns over Turkey's increasingly cozy relationship with Iran are very vague and general. They talk about military cooperation and Israel's sale of its most advanced technologies to Turkey. Recently, I have seen stories that discuss Israel's sale of unmanned aerial vehicles to Turkey, but those are the exception rather than the rule. This story, on the other hand, is much more specific.
Some of those shipments for Hezbollah were sent by sea, and Israel and Western countries have been successful in intercepting at sea hundreds of tons of missiles and artillery shells. Other shipments arrive overland or in flights to Syria via Turkey. Al Jazeera reports:
In May 2007, Turkish authorities seized weapons hidden on a Syria-bound train from Iran after Kurdish separatist fighters derailed it with a bomb.
According to one account, the weapons on the train included a rocket launch pad and 300 rockets.

One little-publicized case in 2006 involved an aircraft loaded with C-803 anti-ship missiles (one such Chinese-Iranian missile hit an Israeli navy ship, killing four sailors). According to USA Today:
A spy satellite photographed Iranian crews loading three missile launchers and eight crates, each normally used to carry a Chinese-designed C-802 Noor missile, aboard a transport plane at Mehrabad air base near Tehran. The Ilyushin Il-76 transport plane left for Damascus, but Iraqi air traffic controllers denied it permission to enter Iraq’s airspace. The Iranian flight crew then requested permission to fly over Turkey. Turkish controllers granted permission — but only if the plane would land for an inspection. The plane returned to Tehran, where the military cargo was unloaded.
Turkey’s role in blocking Iranian weapons destined to Israel’s enemies has been crucial. But this week, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told a closed meeting that the new head of Turkish intelligence is a “supporter of Iran.” Barak continued:
There are a lot of our secrets in Turkish hands. The thought that they could have been exposed to the Iranians is very troubling.
The Israeli-Turkish “secrets” were part of a very deep military relationship between the two countries that included Israeli upgrades to Turkish tanks and planes and the supply of Israel’s latest technologies, including long-range unmanned aircraft. When a severe earthquake hit Turkey in 1999, the Israeli army was asked to send its crack search and rescue unit to the devastated Gölcük Naval Base to try to rescue hundreds of Turkish officers and their families trapped under the rubble. The Israel Air Force conducted its exercises in the wide expanse of Turkish air space, something they couldn’t do in tiny Israel. Secrets of combat tactics, often on display in such exercises, are among an air force’s most closely held secrets.
Read the whole thing.


At 4:21 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

And Israel seeks to maintain relations with Islamist Turkey? The Stupid Jews are only beginning to dimly appreciate how much they have changed.

What could wrong indeed

At 4:22 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Carl.
I do agree that Turkey has become a serious treath to Israel and the west ,it's role in Nato is rapidly changing in aportal to pass true secrets to iran,they have to remove Turkey fronm Nato.

At 4:40 PM, Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

Time to fund and support the Kurds.

Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria all squat on Kurdish lands...

All of the above nations abuse, murder and steal from the Kurds.


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