Major General Amikam Norkin, commander of the Israeli Air Force, on Tuesday revealed that the IDF is the first military force ever to have deployed the Adir (Israel’s version of the Lockheed Martin F-35) in two attacks, on two different fronts.
Two weeks after the most extensive Israeli assault on Syria since the Yom Kippur War, Major General Norkin said, “The Adir planes are already operational and are flying operational missions,” adding, “We are the first in the world to have carried out an operational attack using the F-35.”
Major General Norkin was speaking to the commanders of 20 foreign air forces at a conference held in Herzliya on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Israel Air Force and the State of Israel.
As early as the beginning of 2017, foreign media reported that Israel had attacked, using the advanced stealth aircraft F-35, a Russian-made S-300 defense system near the palace of Bashar al-Assad in Damascus, and another Russian-made defense system which was scheduled to be transported from Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Norkin added new details about Operation House of Cards in Syria, noting that about 100 ground-to-air missiles were fired at the Air Force planes during the attack. According to the IAF commander, Iran fired 32 rockets, four of which were intercepted. “Everything else fell outside Israel’s territory,” he said.
According to Norkin, “the IDF’s air defense systems—Arrow, David’s slingshot and iron dome—have had an 85% success.”
The attack the IAF commander described took place on May 10, in response to a barrage of 20 rockets fired by the Iranian Al-Quds Force into the Golan Heights from Syrian territory.
During the operation, about 50 Iranian targets were attacked in Syria. The attack hit intelligence positions, outposts, headquarters and equipment stores in 16 different locations across the country.
The defense establishment estimated after the attack that the IDF’s recent succession of attacks have made it clear to Iran that it did not have a sufficient operational infrastructure to deal with Israel’s superiority in the region.
According to various reports, the IDF presented to the political-security cabinet the view that the current round is probably over, but tension still exists, and Israel is facing a long period in which it should anticipate being attacked by Iran and its proxies in Syria and Lebanon.