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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

October 18, 2002

Israeli Pre-emptive Action

I'm pleased about this notation of Israeli activity in Iraq in preparation for the war:
The administration's pledge [to send SOF to western Iraq to destory SCUDS threatening Israel], which was conveyed during this week's visit to Washington by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, follows an undisclosed reconnaissance mission in western Iraq this summer by Israeli special forces, according to a former U.S. defense official. The covert Israeli operation was aimed at determining whether Iraq had the capability to launch drone aircraft, in addition to Scud missiles, from its desert air bases.

This is good news not only b/c it confirms that Israel is getting ready for the war, but also b/c it confirms that the intifada, in which policing activities can be a drain on standard military operations, has not eroded the IDF's long-range special operations capabilities. The Karine-A naval commando operation was also good evidence of the IDF's continuing SOF capability.

This operation was not "previously undisclosed," however. Jane's Foreign Report, a weekly publication, wrote about it a while ago and was picked up in some mainstream publications. I was dubious at the time, however, b/c Foreign Report not entirely reliable. But this is one where they apparently got it right.