IDF fighter jets escort American bomber through region, in tacit threat to Iran

Israeli F-15s accompany US B-1b heavy bomber on its way to the Gulf; move comes amid growing threats by Jerusalem and Washington over Iranian nuke program

By JUDAH ARI GROSS30 October 2021, 8:22 pm  

An Israeli F-15 fighter jet escorts an American B-1b heavy bomber through Israeli airspace, on October 30, 2021. (Israel Defense Forces)

An Israeli F-15 fighter jet escorts an American B-1b heavy bomber through Israeli airspace, on October 30, 2021. (Israel Defense Forces)

Israeli F-15 fighter jets escorted an American heavy bomber through the region as it made its way to the Persian Gulf on Saturday, in an apparent threat to Iran.

“The flight represents the continued operational cooperation with American forces in the region,” the Israel Defense Forces said.

The escort mission came as Israeli and American officials have increasingly threatened to act against Tehran’s nuclear program, as Iran has stalled indirect negotiations with the United States in Vienna regarding a mutual return to the 2015 nuclear deal.

The Israeli military shared photographs and video footage of the flight, showing the American B-1b bomber, which is capable of carrying heavy bunker-buster bombs that would be needed for a strike on Iran’s largely underground nuclear facilities, alongside the Israeli F-15 jets.

Israeli officials have explicitly threatened a military strike on Iran’s nuclear program, while Americans have discussed the matter more circumspectly, referring to “other options” beyond diplomatic negotiations in order to halt Tehran’s atomic aspirations.Get The Times of Israel’s Daily Editionby email and never miss our top storiesNewsletter email addressGET ITBy signing up, you agree to the terms

In the beginning of this year, IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi announced he had instructed the military to begin drawing up fresh attack plans for such an operation, and last week the government reportedly allocated billions of shekels toward making those plans viable.

In his speech to the United Nations General Assembly last month, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett declared that “Iran’s nuclear program has hit a watershed moment, and so has our tolerance. Words do not stop centrifuges from spinning… We will not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon.”

The Times of Israel has learned that the Israeli Air Force plans to begin simulating strikes on Iran’s nuclear facilities in the coming months and that some aspects of the Israeli Air Force’s strike plan, which is still in the “draft” stage, could be ready within a short period of time, while others would take more than a year to be fully actionable.An Israeli F-15 fighter jet escorts an American B-1b heavy bomber through Israeli airspace, on October 30, 2021. (Israel Defense Forces)

Israel has twice conducted airstrikes on enemy nations’ nuclear programs, bombing Iraq’s nuclear reactor in 1981 and Syria’s in 2007.

However, an attack on Iran’s nuclear program is widely expected to be far, far more complicated as Tehran has spread out its facilities throughout the country, buried them deep underground, and funded a number of powerful proxies throughout the region who would likely retaliate against Israel if such a strike should be carried out

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2 Comments on “IDF fighter jets escort American bomber through region, in tacit threat to Iran”

  1. Jesus Schwarzkopf Says:

    I might not be correct, but F-35s escorting B-2s would be complete, “stealthiness”. The Shia would never see them coming. The targets should be marked by now. I’d say that they can probably do it on very brief notice. All that is needed is the decision to, “GO”!!

    I doubt, however that what is presumptively, the Biden administration, will do it.


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