Israeli Air Force Has Dropped 9,100+ Bombs Since 2017, Working on Regional Air Defence Pact: Reports

© AP Photo / Ariel SchalitIn this Sunday, July 16, 2006 file photo, an Israeli F-16 warplane takes off to a mission in Lebanon from an air force base in northern Israel.
In this Sunday, July 16, 2006 file photo, an Israeli F-16 warplane takes off to a mission in Lebanon from an air force base in northern Israel. - Sputnik International, 1920, 30.03.2022
Tel Aviv has admitted to carrying out “hundreds” of air strikes against Syria in recent years, with Israeli jets, drones and missiles also targeting ‘Iranian-backed’ forces in Lebanon and Iraq. Earlier this month, Iran struck a ‘Mossad base’ in Iraq using missiles and warned that further attacks on IRGC troops would spark additional attacks.
Israel has carried out over 400 operations in the almost five years that major general Amikam Norkin served as chief of the country’s Air Force, and the country is actively working on the creation of an air defence pact with its regional Gulf state sheikdom partners, Hebrew-language media have reported.
The Air Force under Norkin is reported to have conducted some 408 operations since he was named commander in August 2017, dropping over 9,175 missiles and bombs on some 2,259 targets across the Middle East, including 586 projectiles in the ‘northern arena’ in 2021 alone. Over 5,580 missiles and bombs were said to have targeted infrastructure and suspected weapons shipments.
The Air Force and Israeli military intelligence are monitoring for the appearance of higher quality air defences into the region, including Russian S-300 missile systems in Syria. The deployment of such arms into Syria in large numbers could hamper the IAF’s operations, Haaretz reports, citing security sources.
Hezbollah’s increasing use of anti-aircraft missiles inside Lebanese airspace is another concern, according to the outlet. During their strikes on Syria, IAF warplanes have often hidden behind Lebanese airspace, calculating that Syrian air defence troops would be hesitant to launch anti-aircraft missiles into its neighbour’s airspace and endanger civilian air traffic.
The “Martyr Hajj Qassem” surface-to-surface ballistic missile - Sputnik International, 1920, 19.01.2022
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Israel and its Arab partners including the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt and Morocco are seeking to ‘deepen security cooperation’ on the defence of regional airspace against Iran, and operational coordination, the transfer of intelligence and joint training is already taking place with some of the countries, Haaretz and Israel Hayom say.
The Israeli Air Force reportedly considers such coordination a “strategic asset,” because synchronization with nations closer to Iran and Iraq gives Tel Aviv the capability to detect threats in depth. A formal alliance may be signed soon, according to the Times of Israel.
An Israeli attack on a military base in Syria in early March which killed two Iranian Revolutionary Guard members sparked an IRGC missile attack at a suspected “Mossad base” in Erbil, Iraq on 13 March, killing three operatives and wounding seven others. The IRGC has warned that additional attacks will be forthcoming if the “Zionists” don’t “stop their evil acts.”
Air Force General Tomer Bar is set to replace Norkin next Monday, with his operations reportedly including making preparations for a possible attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, notwithstanding any possible agreement Tehran reaches with Washington or the remaining signatories to the nuclear deal. The Israeli government carved out a special $1.5 billion budget specifically for this purpose last year.
In this Nov. 2, 2019 file photo, Chief of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Gen. Hossein Salami speaks in a ceremony to unveil new anti-U.S. murals painted on the walls of former U.S. embassy in Tehran, Iran. The chief of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard warned Monday, Jan. 27, 2020,  that it will retaliate against American and Israeli commanders if the U.S. continues to threaten top Iranian generals. “I warn them to withdraw from this field,” Gen. Hossein Salami told state television, adding if they do not, they “will definitely regret it.”  - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.03.2022
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