Fighter jet in action
Fighter jet in actionIDF Spokesperson's Unit

Jordan allowed Israeli fighter jets into its airspace to intercept incoming Iranian missiles and drones, an Israeli air force official told NBC News on Monday.

“In order to address something that comes from the east, we need to fly somewhere that is east of Israel,” the official was quoted as having said in a briefing to reporters. “This was done with coordination.”

While Iran’s direct attack against Israel on Saturday night was unprecedented, so was the scale of coordination between Israel and its Arab neighbor in the response. Jordanian and Israeli fighters — coordinated by the US military — acted together to intercept the barrage of drones and missiles.

In a statement on Sunday, Jordan’s government said the interceptions were made to ensure the safety of its citizens, rather than in the defense of Israel, but it is thought to be the first time the two countries’ militaries have fought side by side.

Jordan signed a peace deal with Israel in 1994 but relations have been cold at times. Many locals are against the treaty. In addition, the Jordanian parliament, which is made up mostly of Islamists, remains anti-Israel and its members have more than once called to annul the peace treaty.

The Jordanian parliament has in the past approved a proposal to establish a committee to re-evaluate all formal ties with Israel, including the peace agreement.

That decision does not necessarily mean that the peace accords with Israel will be annulled, as such a decision requires the approval of the government, the royal palace and the council advising Jordan's King Abdullah II.