The Israeli Air Force has decided to not participate in joint drills with the United States amid mounting tensions in the north of Israel, although the country may send some representatives, there will be no planes.
“Israel’s first participation in the Red Flag exercise in Alaska will take place as planned in May. In accordance with assessments of the situation, the air force has decided to tailor the participation of its planes,” IDF spokesperson said.
The Israeli Air Force was expected to take part in the Red Flag exercises in Alaska for the first time.
On April 17, the SANA news agency reported that a false alarm of the Syrian airspace being violated had triggered air defense sirens along with a few interceptor missiles, clarifying that there was no external attack on the country. Early reports by the media outlet suggested that Syrian armed forces had managed to repel a missile strike on the Shayrat airbase in the Homs province, without specifying the source of the attack.
Last week, the Russian Defense Ministry reported that two Israeli F-15 fighter jets had attacked Syria’s T-4 airfield in the Homs province from Lebanese territory, stating that five out of the eight strikes had been destroyed by Syrian air defenses. The Israeli authorities, meanwhile, have abstained from commenting on the incident; however, the country’s Air Force attacked the very same airbase in February 2018.
The incident occurred shortly after several Western nations accused the Syrian government of having used chemical weapons in the city of Douma in Eastern Ghouta, after media reported, citing militants, that the Syrian forces had dropped a chlorine bomb on civilians, supposedly killing dozens. Damascus has consistently denied the allegations, reminding the international community that it had repeatedly warned that militants in the region had been preparing a provocation, involving the use of chemical weapons.