Some of you might remember that I predicted a long time ago that an Israeli air attack on Iraq's nuclear facilities would come through Saudi Arabia, not Iraq, based on what I'd been hearing from my sources.
Based on the old theory of the enemy of my enemy is my friend, and realizing exactly how ineffectual Obama is, the Saudis appear to have cleared the way for the IDF:
Saudi Arabia has conducted tests to stand down its air defences to enable Israeli jets to make a bombing raid on Iran’s nuclear facilities, The Times can reveal.
In the week that the UN Security Council imposed a new round of sanctions on Tehran, defence sources in the Gulf say that Riyadh has agreed to allow Israel to use a narrow corridor of its airspace in the north of the country to shorten the distance for a bombing run on Iran.
To ensure the Israeli bombers pass unmolested, Riyadh has carried out tests to make certain its own jets are not scrambled and missile defence systems not activated. Once the Israelis are through, the kingdom’s air defences will return to full alert.
The Saudis have given their permission for the Israelis to pass over and they will look the other way,” said a US defence source in the area. “They have already done tests to make sure their own jets aren’t scrambled and no one gets shot down. This has all been done with the agreement of the [US] State Department.”
Sources in Saudi Arabia say it is common knowledge within defence circles in the kingdom that an arrangement is in place if Israel decides to launch the raid. Despite the tension between the two governments, they share a mutual loathing of the regime in Tehran and a common fear of Iran’s nuclear ambitions. “We all know this. We will let them [the Israelis] through and see nothing,” said one.
The Saudis, unlike the current occupant of the White House, are under no illusions about what a nuclear Iran means to the region. Aside from being able to blackmail the Saudis by targeting their oil fields or interdicting shipping, the Saudis fear the Iranians fomenting unrest among the Saudi's Shiite underclass, who are located in the part of the country that borders the Persian Gulf - exactly where all the oil is located.
There's too much uncertainty in Israel on how the US might behave if the flight path led over Iraq, given the current US regime.And because of purges of secular officers in the Turkish military by the Islamist Erdogan government, a flight path over Turkey was out of the question even before the latest Gaza flotilla flare up.
An attack via Saudi Arabia shortens the trip for the IDF considerably, which means they can fly multiple sorties a lot easier if they have to. Meanwhile, the Saudis can claim plausible deniability. The Times article seems to claim that the US is in the loop, and it's possible, but based on the current state of the relationship between Israel and Obama I have a feeling we may not be, and that some savvy US sources are simply putting two and two together.
Based on how the IDF has operated previously in these sort of situations, I expect they will likely utilize small strategic groups of planes in normal airline flight paths, mimicking commercial airline radio signals. The recent IDF strikes on Gaza-bound Iranian arms convoys in Sudan, which utilized Israel's KC 707 mid-air refueling tankers to enable multiple strikes at long distance were an example of how the IDF could pull this off, especially at the shorter distances flying over a Saudi corridor would present them with. This would also increase the size of the Israeli strike force, the payload they could carry, and how many targets they could conceivably hit. It could also allow a second strike if necessary.
The Israelis will also likely utilize their five cruise missile equipped Dolphin-class submarines, all of which have the capability of hitting Iranian targets with a high degree of precision.
Recently, one of these subs transited the Suez Canal into the Red Sea, and while the Egyptians claimed it was done without their permission, their ships were seen escorting the sub through the Canal and there's no real way it could have gotten through the Canal without Egypt's knowledge.
Like the Saudis, the Mubarak regime is terrified of Obama's non-policy for dealing with Iran's nukes, and they realize that only the Israelis are capable of dealing with this threat. Obama's funding of Hamas and his insistence that the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas' parent organization, be allowed high profile attendance at his Cairo speech convinced the Egyptians if nothing else did.
An eighty-year-old Mubarak, concentrating on keeping the Muslim Brotherhood at bay and trying to ensure a peaceful succession for Mubarak's son Gamal has a great deal to gain by allowing the Israelis to curtail Iran's nukes.
And Israel also has the option of using its land based ballistic missiles (ICBMs) against Iran when it comes down to it. The Israelis could likely rely on their Arrow Two missile defense system and Israel's Green Pine Radar to deal with any long range attempts to retaliate from Iran.
Where the Mullahs could strike back is by using their armed proxies on Israel's borders and by targeting Jews and facilities like synagogues, community centers and schools outside of Israel for terrorist attacks.
The IDF would need to keep enough operational capacity on hand to deal with attacks inside Israel from Syria, Hezbollah or Hamas.
Hamas is still attempting to recover from the damage done to them by Operation Cast Lead and might not participate except with a few token missile launches at Israel's south. But the Syrians might, and Hezbollah could very well unleash its fully replenished missile arsenal against Israel.
Terrorist strikes against Jewish targets outside of Israel are a real possibility, abut then again, that's something the mullahs have done before even without the motive of an Israeli attack.
This situation has been allowed to fester for far too long. Even though Iran has been assisting our enemies in attacking our troops in the field and is clearly an imminent threat, almost nothing concrete has ever been done to stop them since Ronald Reagan was president.
There's no doubt in my mind that the fallout from an attack on Iran's nuclear sites is going to be greater than it would have been if this problem had been handled, say, four or five years ago, and that it would undoubtedly be even less if the United States rolled up its sleeves and did the job, rather than Israel.
But allowing the Iranian regime to become a nuclear power with all that entails is an even worse alternative - and not just for Israel.
UPDATE: The Saudis have, of course issued a pro forma denial when asked to confirm the Times story.
I can't believe some idiot 'journalist' thought they were actually going to confirm it!