BEIRUT – Israeli force has become the first in the world to launch air strikes using US-made F-35 stealth fighter jets in combat, announced Israel’s air force chief. “I think that we are the first to attack with the F-35
BEIRUT – Israeli force has become the first in the world to launch air strikes using US-made F-35 stealth fighter jets in combat, announced Israel’s air force chief.
“I think that we are the first to attack with the F-35 in the Middle East,” Major-General Amikam Norkin said while speaking at a conference in Israel on Tuesday.
“We are flying the F-35 all over the Middle East and have already attacked twice on two different fronts,” Norkin told the heads of 20 foreign air forces at the event. He claimed that the force had “twice carried out strikes with the F-35, on two different fronts”.
“The Adir planes are already operational and flying in operational missions. We are the first in the world to use the F-35 in operational activity”
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) May 22, 2018
The location of targets was not disclosed by Norkin, who further said that the F-35 was not used when Israel targeted Iranian positions in Syria during the unprecedented attack.
Israel, which has occupied Palestinian territory by force, recently carried out several air strikes in Syria to target Iranian emplacements.
Major General Norkin also showed images of the F-35 flying over Beirut, Lebanon. He added that the fighter jet was used before the recent attacks in Syria.
The F-35, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter, is manufactured by Lockheed Martin Corp. In Israel, it is known by its Hebrew name, “Adir,” meaning Mighty.
Israel became the first country outside of the United States to acquire the fighter jet in December 2016, when it received two planes.
Israel, Iran Face Off
After months of escalation, Israel and Iran locked horns directly in Syria two weeks ago. At the time, Israel reported that Iranian forces had fired 20 rockets at IDF positions in the Golan Heights.
The barrage of the rockets were fired by the Quds Force, an external arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, deployed in Syria to support President Bashar al-Assa in the civil war, targeting posts in Israel occupied Golan Heights, Israel military spokesman Lieutenant-General Jonathan Conricus told media.
Tensions between Israel and Iran had already escalated in Syria. Iran had vowed retaliation after an Israeli air strike last month killed seven of its military personnel in a desert airbase in Syria. Israel regards Iran as its biggest threat, and has repeatedly targeted Iranian forces and allied militia in Syria.