By Sara Gomez Armas
Ovda Airbase, Israel, Oct 25 (EFE).- The Israeli Air Force is preparing for a potential attack on Iran to stop the Islamic Republic from producing nuclear weapons in case negotiations with world powers in Vienna collapse.
“The IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) have continuously trained and upgraded their capabilities to deal with the different Iranian threats. It’s definitely one of the most important core issues we are dealing with in the 2022 plan,” army spokesman Lt. Col. Amnon Shefler tells Efe from the Ovda Airbase in southern Israel, where the military drills are taking place.
The Israeli army has launched a new department in charge of dealing “solely and directly with the Iranian threat,” says Shefler.
Military sources confirmed to Efe that Aviv Kohavi, the IDF chief of general staff, has ordered the Israeli Air Force to step up training for a possible strike on Iran and that the defense ministry has requested a budget increase for the military in 2022.
Backing the budget hike, which needs to be approved in parliament before November 14, finance minister Avigdor Lieberman said last week that “a confrontation with Iran is only a matter of time and not a lot of time.”
“It’s not only a nuclear threat, it’s also regional. Iran continues to entrench itself in the whole Middle East, not only by sending their forces, but also sending information, knowledge to its proxies,” Shefler says.
“Whether it is Yemen, whether -in the Palestinian arena- it is the Islamic Jihad; but mostly Hezbollah in Lebanon. They are sending more money and more knowledge to build that force aimed at Israel.”
Israel is currently hosting the Blue Flag international training exercise at Ovda Airbase, with the air forces from the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Greece and India.
“This is the biggest and most advanced exercise ever hosted in Israel,” says the chief of Air Force training, Brig. Gen. Amir Lazar.