U.S. Asks Israel to Transfer Mothballed American Air Defense Systems to Ukraine

(Ha'aretz) Yaniv Kubovich - Israel's security establishment will examine a request by the U.S. to supply Ukraine with mothballed air defense systems. Israeli officials were surprised by the American request, since the U.S. and European countries that provide military aid to Ukraine are capable of providing much more advanced systems in greater numbers. One air defense system the Americans requested is the Hawk, which entered IDF service during the Yom Kippur War in 1973 and was decommissioned a decade ago. The second is the Patriot air defense system, which entered service in Israel in the Gulf War and is being kept for use in case of emergency. These systems are not currently maintained and their condition is not clear. The American request puts Israel in a tough spot. Israel is interested in maintaining close relations and security coordination with Moscow to continue IDF strategic defensive missions in Syria and to allow the Jewish community in Russia an available access route to Israel. Jonathan Schanzer of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies said that "Even sending older weapons systems to Ukraine is a high-risk proposition for Israel....The Kremlin still controls the skies over Syria. This is airspace the Israeli Air Force needs to access if it is to halt Iranian smuggling of advanced weapons to Hizbullah."

2023-01-26 00:00:00

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