Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Turkey curtails Israeli military overflights, making an airstrike on Iran less likely

Turkey’s post-flotilla decision to close its airspace to Israeli military flights seems to me to make it less likely that Israel could carry out an airstrike against Iran. I don’t think they can fly the straight Jordan-Iraq-Iran route, which leaves going through either Saudi or Turkish airspace. As I understand the mechanics of the flight, ...

xnir / Flickr.com
xnir / Flickr.com
xnir / Flickr.com

Turkey's post-flotilla decision to close its airspace to Israeli military flights seems to me to make it less likely that Israel could carry out an airstrike against Iran. I don't think they can fly the straight Jordan-Iraq-Iran route, which leaves going through either Saudi or Turkish airspace. As I understand the mechanics of the flight, the Turkish route would be the easier one -- you take off in Israel, top off on fuel a tanker orbiting over the Mediterranean, and then shoot east just north of the Turkish-Syrian border, then pop back out to refuel again before landing.

(HT to Juan Cole)

Turkey’s post-flotilla decision to close its airspace to Israeli military flights seems to me to make it less likely that Israel could carry out an airstrike against Iran. I don’t think they can fly the straight Jordan-Iraq-Iran route, which leaves going through either Saudi or Turkish airspace. As I understand the mechanics of the flight, the Turkish route would be the easier one — you take off in Israel, top off on fuel a tanker orbiting over the Mediterranean, and then shoot east just north of the Turkish-Syrian border, then pop back out to refuel again before landing.

(HT to Juan Cole)

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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