Thursday, June 07, 2007

Twenty-Six Years Ago

Charles Johnson at LGF reminds us that today is the 26th anniversary of Israel's daring raid on the Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak. As we noted yesterday, that particular operation (like many mounted by the Israeli Air Force) was rooted in deception. Not only did the IAF fighters arrive over the target while air defense crews were eating supper, their flight path was routed along the Jordan-Iraq-Saudi Arabia border to minimize detection and confuse air traffic controllers--if they were spotted.

I've been told that the formation was briefly detected--although much of the ingress flight was made at an altitude of 1,000 feet (or less). The suspicious traffic reportedly prompted a Saudi controller to hail the formation on a distress frequency, speaking in Arabic, not English. Legend has it that the IAF had also planned for that contingency; one of the Israeli pilots replied in flawless Arabic, and the IAF F-15s and F-16s flew on to their target, undisturbed.

If Iran believes the IAF has lost the ability to mount operations like the Osirak raid, they are sadly mistaken.


Anonymous said...

Excellent documentary. Those 8 gentlemen should be thanked every day by the world....


RussInSoCal said...

Ilan Ramon, one of the pilots on that mission went on to be Israel's first Astronaut.

He perished aboard the Columbia upon Earth reentry on STS 107.