Israeli Air Force F-35 stealth fighters have repeatedly entered Iranian airspace in the past two months, according to a report by a Saudi media outlet.
The unverified report from London-based independent Arabic online newspaper Elaph said that the jets managed to evade Russian and Iranian radar during the drills, adding that Israel and the United States also carried out secret exercises over the Red Sea.
The purpose of the operations -- conducted with the US – was to simulate an aerial and maritime strike on Iran in the Red Sea as well as the seizure of Iranian warships in the Persian Gulf.
Israel has been preparing its air force – chiefly its F-35s – for possibly attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities. It has been specifically upgrading the jets so that they would not require mid-air refueling.The country's air force has also integrated a new one-ton bomb into the arsenal of weapons used by the F-35s (known in the IAF as the “Adir”) that can be carried inside the plane’s internal weapons compartment without jeopardizing its stealth radar signature.
The report comes as the United States and its allies are inching closer to an agreement over the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, which Israel strongly opposes.
Israel’s Prime minister Yair Lapid on Wednesday condemned the deal, saying that the Jewish state "will act to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear state.”
On Monday, Amirali Hajizadeh, the commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guard’s Aerospace Force, threatened that Tehran could "destroy” Israel, even without nuclear weapons.”