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April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘IAF’

IAF Class Graduates, Including Fighter Pilot who had Tourette’s

Sunday, June 23rd, 2013

On Thursday, the latest class of 166 IAF (Israel Air Force) pilots will be graduating. Unlike previous classes, there will be no women graduating in this round.

54% of the graduates are from cities, 35% are from small towns, and 10% are from farm communities (moshavim).

35% are from the north (Tzefat being the farthest north), 61% in the center, and 3% from the south.

All the pilots had completed all the Bagrut (matriculation) exams, except one who completed his Bagrut tests during training.

Almost half the class did not immediately go to pilot school after completing High School.

Four of the pilots volunteered for a year of community service before joining the course. Five went to a military preparatory school for a year. Three spent a year in Hesder. And four others tried out different positions in the IAF first.

For 9% of the graduates, it was their second time taking the course before they graduated.

32% are the oldest child, 35% the middle child, and 29% the youngest. Only 3% were only children.

Ynet reports that one student (22) overcome some very difficult personal trials to become a pilot.

As a child, R. suffered from Tourette’s syndrome, including tics,outbursts, angry behavior, as well as hyperactivity and allergies.

Through a diet regiment and medication he overcame Tourette’s at age 13, and subsequently passed the army medical exam which determined he was healthy and qualified to be a pilot.
R. father told YNet, “The lesson is that you should never pass unquestioned what the medical establishment tells you. There’s a solution and it lies in correct nutrition.”

Wishy-Washy West Endangers Israel with Russian Missiles for Assad

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

The bloody mess in Syria became even more potentially chaotic Wednesday with Russia’s angry announcement that it will supply Syrian President Bashar Assad with S-300 missile systems, and Israel promptly said  it ”knows what to do” to keep the weapons out of use.

The sale of the missiles, which are considered one of the world’s most advanced air defense systems, is a key card in the dangerous game pitting Russia and Assad against Israel and Western powers which have stated that Assad must go while fearful of which terrorists might replace him.

The European Union took what might have been the worst decision possible Tuesday, declaring that it will lift an arms embargo for rebels but at the same time will not directly ship weapons to the opposition forces.

Russia, which supposedly was convinced by Israel earlier this month to hold off the sale of the missiles to Assad, immediately announced it will ship them to the Syrian regime.

Even more tragic, Moscow assured the world that arming Assad with the missiles will actually contain the chaos because it will serve as a warning for “hotheads considering scenarios in which the conflict may assume an international scale with the participation of outside forces.”

The missiles easily could down a commercial airline inside Israel, so what happens if Hezbollah gets its hands on the missiles, or if the rebels get a hold of them?

Guess who will be in the crosshairs.

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon answered that question within hours after the Syrian announcement, warning that Israel ”knows what to do” if the S-300 missiles reach Syria. Israel earlier this year bombed Russian-made SA-17 missiles that Syria was shipping to Hezbollah, and  Ya’alon suggested the same fate awaits the SA-300 missiles.

Assad has wanted the missiles for a long time. Russia has wanted to fatten its treasury with the sale of the weapons and also is desperate to keep its investment in Syria from going up in smoke.

Russia’s announcement of the sale also made the London Sunday Times look stupid. It reported on Sunday that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had convinced Russian President Vladimir Putin in a recent visit to cancel the sale. The next day, Britain proudly announced that Russia would indeed not sell them to Assad.

On Tuesday, the European Union angered Russia by declaring an end to the  arms embargo, prompting Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov to announce the sale of the missiles.

Ya’alon immediately responded to Russia’s claim of the sale of the missiles by stating, “If God forbid, they reach Syria, we will know what to do.”

The mess in Syria has  had a diplomatic parallel. No one really knows the truth from a lie anymore, and even  Ryabkov said, “I can neither confirm, nor deny in what stage these deliveries are at.”

It is even legitimate to ask whether Russia actually will deliver the missiles or if it just rattling sabers.

The problem for Israel, and the world, is that Russia is interested in money and power more than regional stability. It is Assad’s biggest arms supplier, with current contracts worth $1.5 billion.

If Assad goes, not only does Moscow lose a lot of money but it also loses a base of influence in the Middle East.

Iron Domes Redeployed to North

Sunday, May 5th, 2013

In light of the recent IAF activities in Syria, Israel has repositioned two Iron Dome anti-missile batteries to the country’s north.

One has been placed near Tzfat (Sefad), the second near Haifa.

Israel Hits Long Range Iranian Missiles Sent to Hezbollah via Syria

Saturday, May 4th, 2013

Sources in Israel have confirmed that the country’s air force launched a strike in Syria against what are believed to be stockpiles of weapons headed for the Hezbollah militant group in Lebanon, the Voice of America reported.

There has been no official statement on the attack from the Israeli government.

It was the second time in four months that Israel had carried out an attack in foreign territory aimed at disrupting the pipeline of weapons from Iran to Hezbollah. According to the NY Times, the missiles, known as Fateh-110s, had been sent to Syria by Iran and were being stored at an airport in Damascus when they were struck in the attack, according to an American official.

Syrians with knowledge of security and military matters confirmed the strike to the NY Times, saying it took place overnight Thursday, and saying that Iran had sent arms and rockets to Damascus International Airport intending to for them to be shipped to Hezbollah.

CNN quoted unnamed U.S. officials as saying Israel most likely conducted the strike “in the Thursday-Friday time frame” and its jets did not enter Syrian air space.

The attack took place after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s security cabinet approved it in a secret meeting on Thursday night, an Israeli anonymous source said.

The Daily Star of Lebanon noted that the Israeli air force has so-called “standoff” bombs that coast dozens of miles across ground to their targets once fired. That could, in theory, allow Israel to attack Syria from its own turf or from adjacent Lebanon.

Lebanese authorities reported unusually intensive Israeli air force activity over their territory on Thursday and Friday.

A Lebanese security source said his initial impression was that Israeli flights were monitoring potential arms shipments between Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

“We believe that it is linked to Israel’s concerns over the transfer of weapons, particularly chemical weapons, from Syria to its allies Lebanon,” said the official, who asked not to be named.

Syrian Fateh 110 series tactical ballistic missile

Syrian Fateh 110 series tactical ballistic missile

The Fateh-110 is a single-stage solid-propellant, surface-to-surface missile which, as of 2012, is reported to have at least a 200-mile range. It is produced by Iran. That’s well beyond the distance from southern Lebanon, Hezbollah’s stronghold, and Tel Aviv. It carries a 1500 lbs. warhead.

Qassim Saadedine, a commander and spokesman for the rebel Free Syrian Army, said: “Our information indicates there was an Israeli strike on a convoy that was transferring missiles to Hezbollah. We have still not confirmed the location.”

According to the Daily Star of Lebanon, Rebel units were in disagreement about what type of weapons were in the convoy. A rebel from an information-gathering unit in Damascus that calls itself “The Syrian Islamic Masts Intelligence” said the convoy carried anti-aircraft missiles.

The rebel, who asked not to be named, said: “There were three strikes by Israeli F-16 jets that damaged a convoy carrying anti-aircraft missiles heading to the Shiite Lebanese party [Hezbollah] along the Damascus-Beirut military road.

“One strike hit a site near the [Syrian] Fourth Armoured Division in al-Saboura but we have been unable to determine what is in that location”.

Saadedine said he did not think the weapons were anti-aircraft. “We have nothing confirmed yet but we are assuming that it is some type of long-range missile that would be capable of carrying chemical materials,” he said.

Reports of Israeli Attack on Syrian Chemical Weapons Site

Monday, April 29th, 2013

According to reports from the main Syrian opposition group, the Free Syria Army, the Israeli Air Force bombed a chemical weapons site in Syria, near Damascus, on Saturday, April 27.

The Israeli jets flew over Syrian President Basher Assad’s palace, as reported elsewhere, and then allegedly struck a chemical weapons compound nearby.

Although there were reports that Syrian defense forces fired at the IAF, the Israeli jets left Syrian airspace unharmed.

Last week the Israeli military published intelligence findings that President Bashar Assad’s forces had used chemical weapons repeatedly in recent months. The U.S. was initially reluctant to embrace those findings, and even after admitting that Syria had used chemical weapons “on a small scale,” has remained reluctant to take immediate action.

A second report emanating from Syria potentially supported the claims that Israel struck the chemical weapons site, although this report did not mention Israel’s purported role.

This report from Lebanon’s Daily Star discussed heavy fighting near the “Scientific Studies and Research Centre on the foothills of Qasioun Mountain in the northern Barzeh district,” which, according to American defense experts, is a way Syrians are likely to refer to the chemical weapons site.

A retired U.S. naval intelligence officer, J.E. Dyer, believes it is possible Israel engaged in the strike.  For one thing, as noted in the Daily Star report – Assad’s forces are engaged in an all-out effort to retake the area around the SSRC compound from the rebels. Given the fighting in the area, the danger increases that the chemical weapons inventory would fall into rebel hands, “including Islamist jihadists, including Hezbollah, Hamas and al Qaeda.”

But Dyer had several caveats.  First, she said, taking down the SSRC would be a big job, likely requiring sequential strikes. “There’s a lot of industrial square footage to thump; the IAF would want to put more than a couple of strike fighters over the target.”

And Dyer doesn’t imagine Israel would take the risk of entering Syrian airspace and fail to complete a specific job.  “Either you go in to take it out for the duration of the civil war, or you don’t hit it at all,” is how she put it.

Therefore it is possible the IAF attacked something else near the SSRC on Saturday. Perhaps there was a discrete reachable target that presented itself and Israel took the opportunity to reduce the dangerous materials so close to her own border.  This could have been an attack like the one in late January when Israel struck a truck convoy near Damascus which was moving sophisticated  Russian-made anti-aircraft missiles for Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Gaza Rockets Attacks and Related Retaliations

Sunday, April 28th, 2013

IAF attacked targets in Gaza, after rockets from Gaza hit Israel on Saturday night.

The IAF says they hit a weapons cache in southern Gaza.

In response to the Gazan terror attack, Israel also completely closed the Kerem Shalom crossing. The Erez crossing has also been closed to all transfers and traffic except for humanitarian purposes.

IAF Retaliates Against Gaza Terror Targets

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

Following 3 rocket launches from Gaza on Tuesday evening, the Israel Air Force struck back at targets within Gaza.

This was the first time that Israel has responded with an air assault to the Gaza rocket launches since the Pillars of Defense cease fire. No one was reported injured in the IAF strike.

The Gazan rockets hit in the Eshkol region.

There was also a mortar launched earlier in the day that fell short and landed within the Gaza Strip.

The IDF Spokesperson said,

“The IDF will not accept any attempt to attack Israeli citizens or IDF soldiers, and the IDF has no intention of allowing the return to the situation as it was before Operation Pillars of Defense.
The IDF views the attacks on Israel as very serious, and holds Hamas responsible.”

Earlier in the day police also found the remains of the Palestinian rocket that targeted Israel during President Obama’s visit on March 21.

The Gaza rocket had hit a kindergarten in Sderot. The school was closed and empty at the time for the extended Passover vacation.

IAF Cobra Crash, Crew Killed

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

At 1:00 AM, Tuesday morning, contact was lost with an Israeli Air Force Cobra helicopter on a training exercise, near Kibbutz Revadim, according to the IDF spokesperson.

At 5:15 AM the bodies of the two crew members, and parts of the helicopter were found. The two were veteran reservists, and the flight was a routine training exercise.

The helicopter was on its way back to the Palmahim Air Force base when it crashed.

The last time an IAF Cobra helicopter crashed was in June 2008.

Kibbutz Revadim is along the southern coastal plain, east of Ashdod, and north of Kiryat Gat.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/iaf-cobra-crash-crew-killed/2013/03/12/

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