Sunday, April 1, 2007

Iranian Officer Says US Warplanes Have Violated Iran's Airspace

[updated below]

According to this brief report from the Iranian news agency Alalam News:
TEHRAN, April 1 -- Two US warplanes have violated Iran's airspace in the southwestern province of Khuzestan, a local military chief said on Sunday.

Colonel Aqili, commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) in Abadan, said the aircraft trespassed into Iranian airspace northwest of Abadan in the Khuzestan province before flying southwest into Iraq.

"The planes left white smoke trails, attracting the local people's attention," he said.

He also said that US airplanes had violated Iranian airspace several times in the past.
This report from Iran has been mentioned by the Pakistani news service Dawn, but not by any western sources, so far as I can tell.

Nor will it, unless I am very much mistaken.


Supplemental questions you'll never see asked in American media:

(1) Why would American fighters be in Iranian airspace, unless the US wanted the Iranians to knock one of them down?

(2) Does Iran have Stingers, or a reasonable facsimile?

(3) Would the US Command be willing to sacrifice a couple of fighters (and a couple of pilots) in exchange for a pretext?

The US media won't provide the answers, either, but that doesn't make them any less obvious:

(1) NO reason*, (2) YES indeed*, and (3) YOU BET!


* My answer to question (1) was incorrect, as pointed out in the comments by That American Chap, who wrote:
The American pilots were assigned to enter Iranian airspace in order to make note of their radar response. Expect this to happen again this week in preparation for the upcoming attack on Iran.
And +that's exactly right. They venture into Iranian airspace in order to test the Iranian reaction. Are they getting "painted" with radar? And if so, from where? These are the kinds of questions you might like to ask if you were planning to take out a country's radar stations, for example. If the Iranians are smart (and most of the time it looks like they are, but sometimes it's hard to tell) they sat quietly and just watched the trails in the sky. As Larisa says, they've been playing chess for thousands of years.

As for the mistook: I knew better, or at least I should have known better. But I was too ticked off to take the time to think it through. Fatigue and anger and some other things too. I apologize for the error. But on the other hand, this is why I love the blogosphere so much, or at least the reality-based portion of it. When you make a mistake, somebody's right there to say "Hey! Hold on..."

And my answer to (2) was correct, but incomplete. Not only do the Iranians have Stingers, or something very similar (i.e. anti-aircraft missiles which can knock planes down more-or-less whenever they want to), but they also have Sizzlers, ultra-fast torpedoes, which could send our carriers to the bottom of the Gulf just about anytime. For more on the Sizzlers, please see this comment from ibid.

Thanks again to That American Chap and ibid, and indeed to all the other readers who contribute to the threads here. Usually the comments are better than the posts. :-)