The Israeli Air Force (IAF) might have used its advanced US-made F-35 fighter jets in an airstrike on Syria’s Aleppo Province earlier this week, the Middle Eastern Al-Masdar independent media outlet claimed citing the South Front news website.
Al-Masdar referred to recently released photos allegedly showing the aftermath of the bombing on Aleppo, which specifically includes an image of the alleged wreckage of a GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb (SDB).
The bomb, which has an operational range of 110 kilometres (68 miles), was upgraded to allow it to strike mobile targets, which “can be done by an aircraft flying on a high speed and altitude”, according to Al-Masdar.
“Such an aircraft will be an easy target for the Syrian Air Defence Forces’ long range air-defence systems, such as S-200 air defence systems. So, the Israeli Air Force would have to involve F-35 stealth multirole fighters to use GBU-39 SBDs against targets in Syria” in order to evade detection by the Syrian air defences, the news outlet claimed.
This comes after the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported on Wednesday that there had been "Israeli air aggression on the Sheikh Najar region in Aleppo's northeastern countryside" which inflicted some damage on the area.
The Israeli military has neither confirmed nor denied the Wednesday airstrike which came after the Jewish state’s warplanes attacked in January alleged Iranian targets in Syria that included munitions stores in Damascus International Airport.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in turn, reiterated his promise to prevent any alleged deployment of Iranian ballistic missiles in Syria, saying that “our activity against Iran's attempt to establish military bases in Syria and to place advanced weapons there, continues all the time”.
Last year, Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin, chief of Israel's Air Force, claimed that Israel became the first country in the world to carry out an attack using the US-manufactured F-35 stealth fighter.
“We are flying the F-35 all over the Middle East and have already attacked twice on two different fronts,” Norkin said without elaborating.