U.S.: No Bunker-Busters, Iraq Flyover Rights for Israel

[Ha'aretz] Amos Harel and Aluf Benn - The security aid package the U.S. has refused to give Israel for the past few months, out of concern that Israel would use it to attack nuclear facilities in Iran, included a large number of "bunker-buster" bombs, permission to use an air corridor to Iran, an advanced technological system, and refueling planes. In 2005, the U.S. said it was supplying bunker-buster bombs to Israel. In August 2006, the New York Times reported that the U.S. had expedited the dispatch of additional bombs at the height of the Second Lebanon War. The bombs, which weigh 2.2 tons each, can penetrate six meters of reinforced concrete. Israel appears to have asked for a relatively large number of additional bunker-busters, and was turned down. An attack on Iran would apparently require passage through Iraqi air space. For this to occur, an air corridor would be needed that Israeli fighter jets could cross without being targeted by American planes or anti-aircraft missiles. According to one account, the Americans told the Israelis to ask Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki for permission.

2008-09-11 01:00:00

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