HomeTop StoriesIran practiced blowing up an Israeli F-35 base with ballistic missiles just...

Iran practiced blowing up an Israeli F-35 base with ballistic missiles just weeks before attacking the real base

  • At least one ballistic missile hit an Israeli air base during Iran’s attack on Israel last weekend.

  • According to the IDF, there was minimal damage to the facility, which houses F-35 fighter jets.

  • Weeks before the attack, Iran practiced hitting a fake Israeli air base with ballistic missiles.

Just weeks before Iran launched an unprecedented attack on Israel, the country practiced blowing up an Israeli air base with F-35 ballistic missile fighter jets.

Iran and its proxy militias attacked Israel on Saturday with more than 300 drones, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles. Nearly all enemy threats were intercepted across the Middle East by Israeli forces and partner forces, including the US military, marking a resounding success in air defense.

Some of the 120 ballistic missiles launched managed to evade air defenses, including Israel’s advanced Arrow 2 and 3 systems, and enter Israeli territory.

At least one munition struck the Nevatim air base, which is home to F-35 stealth fighters, causing minor damage to infrastructure near the base’s runway, the Israeli military said, which said the base’s functionality had not been affected.

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The Israeli Air Force F-35 Lightning 'Adir' fighter jet lands at a location identified as Nevatim Airbase after an air defense mission in Israel, in this screen capture from a handout video released April 14, 2024.

The Israeli Air Force F-35 Lightning ‘Adir’ fighter jet lands at a location identified as Nevatim Airbase after an air defense mission in Israel, in this screen capture from a handout video released April 14, 2024.Israel Defense Forces/Handout via REUTERS

“Iran hoped to eliminate the base and thus damage our air capabilities, but failed,” Admiral Daniel Hagari, an IDF spokesman, said on Sunday, adding that “AF aircraft continue to take off and land from the base and depart for offensive and defensive missions.”

Iran made no secret of its intention to attack an Israeli F-35 base ahead of Saturday’s barrage.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps fired two longer-range ballistic missiles in mid-February at a target that “reflected the characteristics and conditions” of Israel’s Palmachim airbase, according to the semi-official Tasnim News Agency, which is affiliated with the IRGC.

The report claimed that Palmachim, just south of Tel Aviv, was selected as the simulated target because it is the main base housing Israeli F-35s and also because of previous comments made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from the airport.

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An Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) military personnel walks next to an Iranian Emad surface-to-surface missile in central Tehran during a rally commemorating International Quds Day, also known as Jerusalem Day, on April 29, 2022.An Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) military personnel walks next to an Iranian Emad surface-to-surface missile in central Tehran during a rally commemorating International Quds Day, also known as Jerusalem Day, on April 29, 2022.

An Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) military personnel walks next to an Iranian Emad surface-to-surface missile in central Tehran during a rally commemorating International Quds Day, also known as Jerusalem Day, on April 29, 2022.Photo by Morteza Nikoubazl/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Iranian state media said the fake airbase, built in the Iranian desert, was three times smaller than the actual size of the facility. It claimed that the IRGC had “successfully” hit the fake targets with “Emad” and “Qadr” ballistic missiles that had modified structures and improved warheads.

According to the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank, both missiles are variants of Iran’s Shahab-3 medium-range missile. Open source intelligence accounts on social media and missile experts identified them as having played a role in Saturday’s barrage.

Although Iran’s mock attack on the Israeli air base failed to produce results during the actual attack last weekend, it is being presented as a success at home, according to an expert report.

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“What was a stunning military failure – and the first time that Israel’s phenomenal air defense has been proven on this scale – is being communicated as a success in Iran, and deliberate misinformation is being spread,” said Urban Coningham, a researcher at the Royal The United Services Institute think tank said this on Monday.

Damage from a rocket impact on an Israeli air base.Damage from a rocket impact on an Israeli air base.

Damage from a rocket impact on an Israeli air base.IDF

“There are indeed reports and images circulating on social media in both Farsi and Arabic, concocting a version of Sunday morning’s events in which the Israeli air base is completely in ruins,” Coningham wrote in an analysis.

However, videos and photos from Nevatim show minimal damage to the airbase as fighter jets continue to conduct operations there.

Saturday’s massive barrage was historic, as it marked the first-ever direct attack on Israel from Iranian territory. Previously, Tehran had facilitated military action against Israel through its robust network of proxy forces in the Middle East.

The attack came less than two weeks after an Israeli attack on an Iranian diplomatic facility in Syria earlier this month killed several military officials, including two IRGC generals. Tehran vowed revenge, stoking fear across the region as it braced for possible retaliation. Saturday’s response was met with widespread international condemnation.

Meanwhile, the Middle East remains tense as it remains to be seen whether Israel will retaliate against the Iranian attack.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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