Media reports: Israeli warplanes training in Iraq
Sunday, July 13, 2008
In contrast with what unnamed source(s) in the Iraqi Defense Ministry told a local news network on Friday, The Jerusalem Post reports that Major-General Mohammad al-Askari, spokesman for the Iraqi Defense Ministry was denying earlier reports that the Israeli Air Force (IAF) has been training personnel and allegedly performing military exercises in Iraq.
On July 11, unnamed Iraqi sources told local news outlets in the country that the IAF was performing military exercises in the country and was using American military bases for places to land. The alleged exercise, claimed the sources, was an exercise aimed at preparing an attack on Iran.
The sources further stated that Israeli planes fly in from Jordan during the dead of night and land near the Iraqi city of Hadita reportedly at a U.S. landing strip. They added that Israeli planes were also detected at other bases in Iraq and that those strips were being prepared as places to launch an attack on Iran.
The Iraqi Defense Ministry denied that any such exercise was taking place stating, "as the Ministry of Defense, we haven't observed any IAF warplanes practicing in Iraqi airspace." The Israeli Defense Force also denied the allegations saying they were "baseless."
The U.S. also denied the reports. "I find that report inconceivable and clearly someone is either misinformed or intentionally trying to create mischief," stated Bryan Whitman, a spokesman for The Pentagon.
- Reuters. "Iraq dismisses air drills report" — , July 12, 2008
- "Iraq denies reports of IAF using its airspace" — , July, 11, 2008
- "Israeli warplanes practice in Iraq" — , July, 11, 2008