On August 13th, almost all major Israeli news outlets, almost simultaneously, began publishing articles with statistics on Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Air Force operations over the last 5 years.
Although the Air Force carries out quite a few airstrikes in the Gaza Strip, apparently all the statistics provided are focused in the north and are mostly covert. They are ones for which Israel didn’t take responsibility, such as hitting alleged Iranian targets in Syria, and attempts to hinder the alleged transfer of weapons from Iran to Hezbollah in Lebanon.
The statistics include:
- Over the past 5 years (2015-2020), the Air Force has used about 5,000 units of aviation weapons “in all theaters”, incl. over the past 3 years (i.e., from mid-2017, but mainly from the beginning of 2018, when truly active operations began), 955 targets were attacked, on which 4,239 bombs and missiles were used, including dozens of strikes by F-35I fighter jets;
- Since 2017, Syria has fired 873 anti-aircraft missiles, incl. 844 over the last 3 years, i.e. since mid-2017, mainly missiles of the SA-17 (Buk-M2E) and SA-22 (Pantsir-S1) complexes; for comparison – in 2013 – only 2 missiles were fired;
- Over the past 2 years (and mainly in open operations, i.e. such as when Israel took responsibility, usually in response to terrorist attacks or shelling of Israeli territory), the Air Force destroyed a third of the Syrian air defense systems;
- The number of operations has skyrocketed over the past year, despite the coronavirus epidemic;
- 70% of the pilots who participated in these operations are reservists.
In parallel, the Air Force also notes the enemy’s response.
So, there is an exchange of information about the actions of the Israeli Air Force and the conclusions drawn from them.
Syria buys new radars and new air defense systems, incl. Russian S-300 missile defense systems.
The Air Force confirms that Syria manages to shoot down some of the bombs and missiles launched by Israel, but only one plane was lost – the F-16I in 2018.
In addition, two videos have been published. One shows a flight at extremely low altitude, the other a refueling in the air of a F-15I fighter jet at night.
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