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Wednesday, October 03, 2012

In panicked air defense drill, Iran fired on its own planes

It's a pity we didn't take care of this back then.

The New York Times reports that in the aftermath of Israel's successful strike on a Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007, a panicky Iran rehearsed strikes on Haifa and Dimona, nearly hitting its own civilian aircraft and one of its own military planes with its air defense system.
The civilian planes were fired on by surface-to-air missiles and antiaircraft batteries and intercepted by Iranian fighter jets.
“Iranian air defense units have taken inappropriate actions dozens of times, including firing antiaircraft artillery and scrambling aircraft against unidentified or misidentified targets,” noted a heavily classified Pentagon intelligence report, which added that the Iranian military’s communications were so inadequate and its training deficiencies so significant that  “misidentification of aircraft will continue.” 
At the time, there was growing concern in Israel and the United States over Iran’s nuclear program and discussion of a military response.
In September 2007, Israeli aircraft bombed a nuclear reactor that was under construction in northeast Syria. The following year, Israel conducted a major air exercise over the Mediterranean that appeared to be a rehearsal for a potential attack on Iran’s uranium enrichment plant at Natanz.
In Iran, air defense units were edgy, fearing that an enemy aircraft might try to mimic the flight profile of a civilian airliner, according to a classified Pentagon assessment.
So why didn't Israel attack in 2007-08? Unfortunately, there was this: 
Iraqi officials had their own concerns about a possible Israeli strike. On July 3, 2008, Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki of Iraq opened a videoconference with President George W. Bush by expressing his fear that Israel might fly through Iraqi skies to attack Iran.
If Israel violated Iraqi airspace, he said, he would have no choice but to hold the United States responsible, said Mr. Maliki, who said that he could not allow Iraq to “become a battleground.” 
“I hear you loud and clear,” Mr. Bush assured Mr. Maliki, according to notes of the conversation.  “Nothing is more important to me than success in Iraq.”
 Yes, Bush got some things wrong too.

Read the whole thing.

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At 2:02 PM, Blogger Juniper in the Desert said...

Typical of Iranian lies, they even have a model of Concorde in their travel office window above, something they NEVER had in real life!!


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