F-35I stealth fighters of the Israeli Air Force (IAF) have participated in strikes on Syria, Israel’s air force commander Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin said on May 22.
“The F-35 squadron has become an operational squadron. We are flying the F-35 all over the Middle East. It had become part of our operational capabilities. We are the first to attack using the F-35 in the Middle East and have already attacked twice on different fronts,” he said.
According to Maj. Gen. Norkin, the F-35I stealth fighter did not participate in the last strike in Syria but did in two previous ones.
The Israeli military declared initial operational capability of the F-35I stealth fighter in December after receiving nine F-35I warplanes. The IAF is expected to receive a total of 50 jets to make two full squadrons by 2024.
Speaking at the IAF Senior Air Force Conference in Herzilya Norkin added that more than 100 surface-to-air missiles had been fired at Israeli jets from Syria during the May 10 incident.
Norkin also provided with additional details on the Israeli version of events. According to him, Iran fired 32 rockets at Israel during the flare-up across the Syrian border.Four rockets were allegedly intercepted by Israel and the rest landed outside of what he described as “Israeli territory”.