A F-15 fighter jet flies during a graduation ceremony for Israeli Air Force pilots at Hatzerim Airbase, in southern Israel, June 29, 2023.

Israeli Air Force Establishes Iran Unit Amid Escalating Tensions

Monday, 02/26/2024

In response to the escalating threat posed by Iran, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) has established a unit dedicated to countering Tehran's growing hostility towards Israel.

Led by Major General Tomer Bar, the newly formed Iran unit is a show of force not only to Iran but also to the United States, highlighting concerns over perceived gaps in addressing Iran's nuclear aspirations and its support for terrorism.

The unit's mandate encompasses overseeing military preparations for potential Iranian threats, with a particular emphasis on countering Iran's nuclear ambitions. Moreover, it signals Israel's preparedness to confront Iranian-sponsored terrorism across multiple theaters, including Yemen, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip.

Iran is currently at the helm of a regional proxy war which has seen its militias come out in support of the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, in a war which has escalated to draw in international players including the US and UK.

In recent years, Israel has ramped up its airstrikes on Syria in a bid to thwart Tehran's growing reliance on aerial supply routes for delivering arms to its allies in Syria and Lebanon, notably Hezbollah.

The news of the new unit counters claims from former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert who said last week that Israel's air force lacks the necessary resources to halt Iran's nuclear program through military action amid the two nations' shadow war.

In an interview with The National, Olmert, a long time rival of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said, "We can destroy their headquarters, important projects, railways, roads, and airports .. Israel can do a lot to damage Iran's infrastructure, but Israel has no means to be able to destroy the nuclear program of Iran."

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