The IAF carried out training this week for long distance flights by fighter jets and attacks against targets thousands of kilometers away from Israel's borders. In an unusual move, the IDF published video documentation of the drill, in what diplomatic sources estimate is an intentional warning to Iran and the world.
The exercise took place in the area of Greece, with the participation of dozens of IAF jets. They rehearsed midair refueling and attacks against remote targets.
The documentation is being published as the so-called P5+1 powers prepare to resume talks with Iran over its nuclear program next month.
While the IAF holds similar exercises from time to time, this is the first time that Israel has allowed documentation of the exercises to be published. Diplomatic sources estimated that this is a message from Israel to the world, that it has not given up the option to use force against Iran's nuclear program.
The IAF website wrote that “When people say that 'all options are on the table,' one understands that they are also talking about military options. The IAF – the long arm of the IDF – is responsible for implementing this option if need be, and to this end, the squadrons are rehearsing and strengthening the spectrum of abilities – in long range flights, among other things.
“In this field, the IAF has to develop the relevant abilities for operations, from a focused operation to a wide-ranging one.”
While Israel does not appear to be preparing for an attack in Iran soon, Jerusalem plans to accompany the upcoming talks with military threats, with the intent of making clear that failure of the diplomatic option means a green light for military action.