Amid Iran-Azerbaijan tension, Israel brought F-35 to Azerbaijan

Two advanced Israeli F-35 stealth fighter jets have been ‘permanently stationed’ in Azerbaijan.

The appearance of the Isareli F-35I Adir stealth fighter belonging to the Israeli Air Force in Azerbaijan has led to many questions that need to be answered.

A pair of Israeli F-35I fifth-generation stealth fighters have arrived in Azerbaijan, report by the Open Caucasus Media portal reports. In addition, the publication Elaph also said that the above fighters will be stationed for a long time.

The famous Elaph website, which is of particular interest to the international media, is based in the United Kingdom and was founded by a Saudi publisher and businessman – Mr. Osman Al Omeir. This website is blocked in Riyadh and some other Arab countries.

The report, published on 2 October, comes at a time of spiralling tension between Azerbaijan and Iran, with Iran making several veiled threats towards Azerbaijan and accusing the country of hosting Israeli forces.

The F-35 is a fifth-generation American-made multirole fighter with stealth technology, far more sophisticated than any aircraft possessed by either Iran or Azerbaijan.

On 2 October, Iran held large-scale military drills in the north of the country close to the Azerbaijani border. Iranian Foreign Minister Hussein Amir Abdullahian told a local news channel the same day that there were ‘Zionists’ present in Azerbaijan during ‘failed attempts […by] terrorist groups’ to approach the Iran-Azerbaijan border

Vehicle-mounted self-propelled rocket launcher systems arranged for 1 October Iranian military exercises
Vehicle-mounted self-propelled rocket launcher systems arranged for 1 October Iranian military exercises

The arrival of Israeli F-35Is over the territory of neighboring Azerbaijan has made Tehran extremely worried, the Iranian leader posted a message on Twitter with the following content:

‘Those who dig a hole for their brothers will be the first to fall into it’,  Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei tweeted the following day.

The source reportedly told Elaph that Israel was prepared to provide air support if conflict broke out between Azerbaijan and Iran, and that more fighters could be sent to the country if needed.

The appearance of two Israeli stealth fighters in Azerbaijan raises questions that need to be answered, mainly related to the practical nature of the aforementioned “military adventure”.

Firstly, the purpose of such a fighter maneuver is completely incomprehensible. To conduct any military operation against Iran, two fighters are clearly not enough.

Second, Ankara is Baku’s first and direct military partner, having provided direct support to the Azerbaijani army during the Second Karabakh War. It is unlikely that Turkish President Tayyiv Erdogan will agree to deploy Israeli warplanes, still seen as hostile to Ankara, in the territory of its closest ally.

Third, there is no defense agreement signed between Tel Aviv and Baku, and Israel – as is known, never places its military aircraft, especially top secret vehicles like the F-35I fighter. in third countries on a permanent basis.

Fourth, conducting reconnaissance operations deep inside Iranian territory even with stealth fighters like the F-35 would be an extremely dangerous step for the Jewish State.

A significant force of the Iranian army, including various air defense systems, has been towed to the Azerbaijan border in recent weeks, in addition to the Russian-made Resonance-NE early warning radar already in service with the country long ago.

Having recorded a case where the US Air Force’s F-35 fighter jet, when approaching the Iranian border from neighboring Iraq, was detected from afar by the Resonance-NE radar station, Israel certainly knows this.

Fifth, with the dense monitoring of the military satellite network, the appearance of the IDF aircraft will be immediately confirmed by satellite images, when every movement is monitored, it will be difficult to They keep their activities secret.

Thus, it is clear that the appearance of Israeli F-35I Adir stealth fighters in Azerbaijan does not carry any practical meaning and only angers Iran more.

Israeli F-35I Adir
Israeli F-35I Adir

This is not the first time reports of Israeli jets in Azerbaijan have emerged. In 2012, Foreign Policy magazine cited four senior American diplomats and military intelligence officers as saying that the US believed Israel had been granted access to an airbase in Azerbaijan.

In July 2020, Azerbaijan denied that its airspace was used for a drone attack on Iranian nuclear facilities.

Israeli officials frequently make statements vowing to thwart any attempt by Iran to engineer a nuclear bomb. A number of assassinations of nuclear scientists and cyber-attacks on suspected Iranian nuclear facilities have been widely attributed to Israel.

Israel and Azerbaijan enjoy close relations, with Israel selling billions of dollars worth of military equipment to Azerbaijan, including sophisticated drones and air defence system.

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