U.S. has military plan should Iran conflict erupt, says air force chief
According to Bloomberg, Pentagon officials say U.S. prepared options to provide aerial refueling for IDF planes, as well as plans to attack Iranian military bases.
U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff General Norton Schwartz said Wednesday that Washington has prepared military options to strike Iran's nuclear sites should conflict erupt, Bloomberg reported.
Just four days before Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's scheduled meeting with President Barack Obama in Washington, Schwartz told reporters that military options are being prepared in the event of a conflict.
“What we can do, you wouldn’t want to be in the area,” Bloomberg quoted Schwartz as telling reporters in Washington on Wednesday.
According to Bloomberg, which quoted Pentagon officials, some of the preparations include providing aerial refueling for Israel Air Force planes and attacking the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Iranian military bases, and the Ministry of Intelligence and Security. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity since the plans are confidential.
Meanwhile on Wednesday, the Washington Post reported that the U.S. military is increasingly confident that its air force's "bunker-buster" bombs could take out Iran's uranium enrichment plant at Fordo, which is deeply buried underground.
Haaretz reported on Wednesday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to try to pressure U.S. President Barack Obama in their meeting next week to publicly support an attack on Iran should the latter cross certain "red lines."
Officials in both Jerusalem and Washington acknowledge a serious lack of trust between Israel and the United States with regard to the issue of a possible strike on Iran's nuclear facilities. A senior U.S. official who is involved in preparing Netanyahu's visit to the United States - and who asked to remain anonymous - said intensive preparations are underway to guarantee the success of the meeting between Netanyahu and Obama and to bridge this lack of trust.
According to sources, the lack of trust between Israeli and U.S. officials appears to stem from, among other things, a mutual feeling that the other country is interfering in its own internal political affairs. Netanyahu suspects that the U.S. administration is attempting to turn Israeli public opinion against an attack on Iran, say sources.
Meanwhile, they say, the Obama administration suspects Netanyahu is using Congress and the Republican candidates in the presidential race to put pressure on Obama to support such a strike.