Saudi paper: Israeli F-35s fighter jets enter Iran airspace for ‘secret’ drills

Israel and the U.S. also carried out “massive” drills simulating aerial and maritime attacks on Iran, the London-based Elaph reported.  

By Debbie Reiss, World Israel News

Israeli F-35 stealth fighter jets penetrated Iranian airspace on several occasions in the last two months, evading both Iranian and Russian radars, a Saudi news outlet reported Wednesday.

The news, reported in the London-based Saudi outlet Elaph, comes as Israel makes a last ditch attempt to stop Western powers from signing a newly drafted nuclear deal with Iran.

The report also said Israel and the U.S carried out large-scale “secret drills” over the Red Sea, simulating a simultaneous air and sea strike on Iran. The simulation included seizing Iranian warships in the Gulf and mid-air refuels.

Israel has carried out a series of drills simulating war with Iran, not all of them covert. IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi stated last year that Israel had formulated a comprehensive attack plan against Iran.

The IAF has also run a series of upgrades to its F-35 fleet, including integrating a one-ton bomb in its belly. According to Elaph, the joint drill in the Red Sea underlines Washington’s support for military action if attempts to sign an emerging nuclear deal crumble again.

Elaph also reported that Israel has boosted its maritime presence off the coast of Lebanon and the Red Sea, deploying submarines to monitor Iranian spy vessels in those waters.

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Prime Minister Yair Lapid reiterated Israel’s position that a nuclear deal would not “obligate Israel.”

The Israeli premier also issued a rare rebuke of President Joe Biden, saying that the latest draft of the deal crossed even his own “red lines.”

“We have made it clear to everyone: if a deal is signed, it does not obligate Israel. We will act to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear state,” Lapid told reporters on Wednesday.