Now there is a second source claiming Israel is gearing up for a strike on Iranian nuclear facilities.
Unlike the British Times newspaper I mentioned yesterday, I don’t know much about The Daily Mail from Islamabad, Pakistan, so I can’t vouch for its credibility. Yet it is reporting something very similar to the Times article which claims Saudi Arabian sources say Israel has permission to overfly their territory to strike nuclear facilities in Iran.
From Pakistan’s Daily Mail:
THE Daily Mail has learnt that Israel is massing warplanes in the Caucasus for an attack on Iran. Preparations are underway to launch the military attack from Azerbaijan and Georgia, reports Akhbar Al Khaleej, quoting military sources. It has been reported that Israel was, in fact, training pilots in Turkey to launch the strike and was smuggling planes into Georgia using Turkish airspace, according to the sources.
Azerbaijan-based intelligence units, working under the cover of technicians, trainers and consultants, have helped with the preparations, the sources have revealed. Military equipment, mostly supplied by the US, was transported to a Georgian port via the Black Sea. Georgian coastguard and Israeli controllers are co-operating to hide the operations from Russian vessels, said the sources. They point out that according to Israel, it will not be in a position to launch a strike on Iran without using bases in Georgia and Azerbaijan due to the limited capabilities of its nuclear submarines stationed near the Iranian coast.
If accurate, could this be a “Plan B” to a planned strike from Israel flying over Saudi Arabia? Could it be a new and different plan, now that the strike across Saudi Arabia has been mentioned in the media? Could it be part of a two-pronged attack that doesn’t put all the eggs in one basket for taking out Iranian nuclear sites?
The Jerusalem Post is a publication I know more about, and I know it is reputable. The Post is also reporting on Israeli activity in Saudi Arabia:
Israel Air Force aircraft dropped off large quantities of military gear at a Saudi Arabian military base a week ago, in preparation for a potential attack on Iran, a number of Iranian and Israeli news outlets have reported.
The unconfirmed report, first published by the semi-official Iranian news agency Fars and the Islam Times Web site, claimed that on June 18 and 19, Israeli helicopters unloaded military equipment and built a base just over 8 km. outside the northwestern city of Tabuk, the closest Saudi city to Israel, located just south of Jordan. All civilian flights into and out of the city were said to have been canceled during the Israeli drop-off, and passengers were reportedly compensated by the Saudi authorities and accommodated in nearby hotels.
The article also mentions something I have seen reported in other media outlets over the past week or two:
Also last week, Egyptian sources told London-based Al- Quds Al-Arabi that an American fleet consisting of 11 frigates and an aircraft carrier, believed to be the nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman, passed through the Suez Canal from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea. Eyewitnesses told the paper that an Israeli frigate was among the passing ships and that Egyptian authorities had suspended all commercial boat traffic in the canal for several hours to enable the fleet to pass. Thousands of Egyptian soldiers and two helicopters were reportedly deployed to the area during the passage.
All of this adds up to a lot of reported Israeli activity throughout the Middle East. The preponderance of evidence is getting considerable.
Dr. Ephraim Inbar, director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies in Ramat Gan is quoted with a statement that saddens me as an American, but one with which I cannot argue:
Since the Arab world and Saudi Arabia understand that President Obama is a weak person, maybe they decided to facilitate this happening.
Two things are certain: (1) Someone needs to prevent the maniacs in Iran from getting nuclear weapons, and (2) if Israel launches a strike against those nuclear facilities, they had better be sure they get the job done right the first time–because there will be hell to pay afterward. Such a strike would destabilize the Middle East and at a minimum bring the obligatory Israel-bashing even from countries which may privately be glad Israel took action. But allowing Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to obtain nuclear weapons would be even more destabilizing.
Is the hell to be paid worth it? Yes. But it still won’t be pleasant.