Report: Israeli Bombers
Planned to Use Georgian Airfields in Iran Strike
In part of what was termed
Georgia's "special relationship" with Israel, UPI Editor at Large
Arnaud de Borchgrave reported in a commentary today
that a secret agreement between Georgia and Israel had earmarked two military
airfields in the south of Georgia for use by Israeli fighter-bombers in a
potential pre-emptive strike against Iran.
Israel has been a close ally of
the Black Sea republic, and Israeli contractors have provided the Georgian
military with considerable amounts of training and armament, much to the chargrin of Russia.
Russian General Anatoly Nogovitsyn said Israel
with "eight types of military vehicles, explosives, landmines and special
In perhaps another signal
for how key Georgia believes military support from Israel is, while most of the
western media was running stories about Georgia being completely overrun by
Russia's invasion earlier this month, Georgia's Minister of Reintegration was
giving an interview to Israel's Army Radio. In it, he praised Israel's training of Georgia's
soldiers, and credited it with Georgia's having inflicted "enormous damage" on Russia's
And while Israeli defense
officials publicly announced a halt to military sales to Georgia earlier
this month, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili denied that any halt had taken place. He also
said "the Israeli weapons have proved very effective," and credited
them with Georgia's military
successes in the brief war with Russia.
had already been strained amid reports that Russia was planning to sell Iran
its most advanced anti-aircraft missile system, which prompted a claim from the
Israeli military that they were developing some "electronic warfare"
means to neutralize what has become the backbone of Russian air defense. Iran's Foreign
Ministry denied yesterday that they had purchased the system.
Another consequence of Israel's backing of Georgia
came when long-time rival Syria
military operations. This has led to talks of new arms sales to Syria, and a report that Russia will
increase its naval presence in Syrian ports. Syria
and Israel have been engaged
in ongoing indirect peace talks, though those are at present delayed due to the
resignation of Israel's