In a meeting with students at West Virginia University, a young pilot asked the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the U.S. Army, Mike Malen, to comment on rumors that if Israel decides to attack Iran, its fighters will need to cross Iraq's airspace to reach their targets. The U.S. military has described this airspace as ‘closed to flights’. If so, would American forces shoot down Israeli planes flying over Iraq?
Malen's reply: "We have a strong exceptional relationship with Israel. I spent much time with my colleagues in Israel. And so we have a very clear understanding of where we are. Beyond that, I just would not want to get into speculation about what might happen and who might do what. Frankly, I do not think it serves any purpose. I hope that the issue will be resolved in the way which will never have to answer a question like this. "