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Deadly flight Israel-Azerbaijan-Iran2012-03-30 18:18
The U.S. military expert Mark Perry has learned the details of negotiations between Israeli and Azerbaijani military. It was about the purchase of the four abandoned Soviet-era airfield by Tel Aviv. American diplomats and experts from the Pentagon, interviewed by Perry, made clear conclusion: Israel is preparing for massive air strikes on Iran. Purchasing of airfields in Azerbaijan solves two pressing problems of the Israeli Air Force: the need for refueling and escorts for the bombers.
Foreign Policy Magazine published an article by military expert Mark Perry on secret military talks between Israel and Azerbaijan. These talks became the property of the American public thank to the U.S. State Department representatives in Baku and the ubiquitous WikiLeaks. The point came down to one thing: Israel deploys its aviation industry in Azerbaijan, and building military bases at Soviet abandoned airfields. Another alerting fact is that all airfields are located near the northern territories of Iran.
Israeli plans to conduct air war against Iran from Azerbaijan became known in 2006. In an interview to the online newspaper ynet.com Israeli Brigadier General Oded Tira angrily denounced the inaction of George W. Bush in regard of the Iranian nuclear program. "In this case, Israel should negotiate with Azerbaijan about the use of air bases on the territory of Azerbaijan. Moreover, with help of Azerbaijan Israel should enlist the support of Azeri minority in Iran". Just a few years later, the Israeli company IAI created in Azerbaijan a joint aviation enterprise Azad Systems. It is producing drones Heron, Searcher, Aerostar and Orbiter-M. International Academy on control of unmanned aerial vehicles was opened in Baku the same year.
A plan for "the support from the Azeri minority in Iran" is also being implemented. Recently, a group of Israeli human rights defenders went to northern Iran. The purpose of the mission was protecting the rights of Iranian Azerbaijanis. According to human rights activists, those "do not share the neo-Nazi views of Ahmadinejad" and "hope for regime change in Iran". If it would be necessary, Israel would report about violations of the rights of Iranian Azerbaijanis to international courts. In this case, Tehran will face additional sanctions. According to the Israeli human rights defenders, working in northern Iran, it is better to solve the problem without war, but they believe that "an Israeli strike on Iran is inevitable".
Tel Aviv planned to conduct missile strikes using their bombers F-15s and F-16. The Pentagon embraced the idea with a grin, since a bomber of this class can not overcome the long distances without refueling. Only maneuverable refueling aircraft may help in this situation, but Israel has got very little of them. Furthermore, such aircraft needs an air convoy. Such a squadron may be easily intercepted and disarmed. The U.S. made it clear to Israel that its strategy is fatally flawed and obviously disastrous. With the caveat: until Israel has an airbase in close proximity to Iran.
In an interview to Foreign Policy Pentagon military analyst David Eisenberg said that the purchase or lease of air bases in Azerbaijan would have "critical importance" for Israel. Bomber F-16 with a full ammunition on board will fulfill its combat mission without refueling in the air and return to base. The U.S. Gen. Joe Hoar shares this view. According to the general, it does not guarantee an Israeli attack on Iran. But the very fact of access to Azerbaijani airfields makes this task "more doable".