Δευτέρα, 24 Νοεμβρίου 2008

Israeli squadron devising attack on Iran?

The Israeli Air Force is reportedly holding secret training sessions to prepare for what may be a future attack on Iran's nuclear facilities. An Israeli squadron is conducting dress rehearsals in the Negev desert, for a strike on Iran's nuclear infrastructureThe Sunday Times reported. According to the Sunday report, the secret mission could lead to Israel's third and 'easily most dangerous' attack on a nuclear plant in three decades if it gets 'the political go-ahead'. Israel had earlier attacked nuclear plants in Iraq and Syria. "We feel the future of Israel isn't safe and we want to do what we can to defend it," The Sunday Times quoted a pilot as saying on condition of anonymity. This comes as some 120 US military personnel in the Nevatim air base near the Negev desert are adding the finishing touches to an advanced X-band radar system, with a range of 1,250 miles that will gravely enhance Israel's tactical capacity in the air. The system is also believed to be capable of countering Iran's advanced Shahab-3 and the newly-tested Sejjil ballistic missiles. Earlier reports suggested that the system could also facilitate an Israeli air strike on Iran's nuclear facilities. The Haaretz daily, meanwhile, reported on Sunday that Israeli defense chiefs are calling for contingency plans to be drawn up for military action against the Islamic Republic. "Israel faces these threats almost alone ... It is imperative to mobilize the international community and obtain regional cooperation. The new American administration is an opportunity to do this," Haaretz quoted one of the military chiefs as saying. The report came as US President George W. Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert are to hold crucial White House talks in the wake of the latest UN nuclear watchdog report on Iran, which states that the agency 'has been able to continue to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material in Iran,' adding that there has been 'no indication' of Iran conducting nuclear reprocessing activities. The Guardian has confirmed that Olmert sought a green light to strike Iranian nuclear installations in a May 14 meeting with President George W. Bush. On July 13, The Sunday Times quoted a senior Pentagon official as saying that the Bush administration had given the 'amber light' to an Israeli plan to attack Iran by means of long-range bombing sorties. "Amber means get on with your preparations, stand by for immediate attack and tell us when you're ready," said the official on condition of anonymity. On October 12, The Times reported that there is the likelihood of Israel bypassing US warnings and unilaterally striking Iranian nuclear facilities in the same manner Georgia attacked South Ossetia. "The experience of Georgia has given an amber, if not a green light to Israel (to attack Iran) and only Bush can switch that to red," The Times asserted. SBB/SME/MMN

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