“The 'Adir' (F-35I) aircraft are already operational and flying combat missions. In fact, we have performed the first operational F-35 strike in the world. We attacked twice in the Middle East using the F-35 (and) we are the first in the world to do so. The Israeli Air Force is a pioneer and a world leader in operating air power". These remarks were made by IAF Commander, Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin, who spoke today (Tuesday) at the International Air Force Commander Conference.
The conference, which also marks the Israeli Air Force's 70th anniversary, is participated by air force commanders and senior officers from over 20 countries. Among the countries taking part in the event are the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Greece, Poland, Italy, Cyprus, Austria, Bulgaria, Brazil, France, the Czech Republic, Romania, Croatia, the Netherlands, Finland, Belgium, Vietnam, and India. “This gathering is an exceptional event marking aerial, global and regional cooperation in order to strengthen regional stability. Your presence here has a strategic meaning for the people of the IAF and for myself, and for that, I thank all of you,” said Norkin.
The IAF Commander shared with his counterparts some of the IAF's operational events over the past few weeks. “We checked what the Iranians were doing around us. Quds Force was based in the T-4 airbase, 250 kilometers from Israel. From this base, they attempted to attack us using a UAV which infiltrated Israel a number of months ago. After this event, we saw that they continued to store munitions in this base, including aerial defense capabilities which we attacked this month.”
“Over the past weeks, we understood that Iran was transporting long-range missiles and rockets to Syria, among which are 'Uragan' missile launchers which we attacked, just north of Damascus,” Maj. Gen. Norkin added. “The Iranians fired 32 rockets towards Israel. We intercepted four of them, while the rest fell outside of Israel's territory. Afterward, we attacked dozens of Iranian targets in Syria. Sadly, the Syrian air defense systems fired over 100 SAM (Surface-to-air missiles) at our aircraft using SA-5, SA-17, and SA-22 missile batteries. In response, we destroyed their SAM batteries. A short time later, we destroyed a 20-meter deep Hamas tunnel.”
The article is based on an article published by Carmel Stern & Eitam Almadon on the IAF website