Israeli missile class warships sailed through the Suez Canal to the Red Sea ten days after a submarine capable of launching a nuclear missile strike, in what the British Times Online quoted an Israeli defense official as saying “should be taken seriously”.
The move was apparently done in preparation for a possible attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, and the official said, “Israel is investing time in preparing itself for the complexity of an attack on Iran. These maneuvers are a message to Iran that Israel will follow up on its threats.”
The report came two days after two Saar class missile boats – the most advanced in the IDF’s possession – crossed the Suez Canal into the Red Sea. Arab sources said the movement was only a drill.
The defense official went on to say, “It is not by chance that Israel is drilling long-range maneuvers in a public way. This is not a secret operation. This is something that has been published and which will showcase Israel’s abilities.”
The source mentioned Israel’s past covert long-range drills, such as that over Greece last year and reports that surfaced of an Israel Air Force exercise over Gibraltar.
According to the Times, the upcoming long-range exercises by the Israeli Air Force in the United States later this month and the test of the Arrow interceptor missile on a US missile range in the Pacific Ocean.
Israel has recently tightened diplomatic ties with Arab countries that also fear a nuclear Iran. . In particular, relations with Egypt have grown increasingly strong this year over the “shared mutual distrust of Iran”, according to one Israeli diplomat.
Israeli naval vessels would likely pass through the Suez Canal for an Iranian strike. And an Israeli Dolphin-class submarine already passed through the Suez several weeks ago.
The submarine returned to the Mediterranean Sea a few days later, and an Israeli defense official said shortly after the move that Israel has no intentions of permanently positioning a submarine in the Red Sea, “therefore, we are minimizing our naval activity in Eilat”.
According to foreign reports, the Dolphin-class submarine, is capable of carrying missiles with nuclear warheads, that are meant to enable Israel to strike in the event of an Iranian attack.