Haaretz: Britain has used Israeli weapons in Iraq, Afghanistan

Haaretz: Britain has used Israeli weapons in Iraq, Afghanistan
Israeli paper Haaretz has reported that UK has successfully used Israeli Tamuz missiles in Iraq and Afghanistan in the past, ordered more, and has other significant military cooperations with Israel.
2 min read
29 September, 2015
RAF Waddington has two Ground Control Stations operating unmanned aircraft systems in Afghanistan [Nigel Roddis/Getty]

A report published by Israeli newspaper Haaretz on Tuesday has revealed that Britain had used Israeli Tamuz missiles (Spike missiles) - which are man-portable anti-tank and anti-personnel missiles with heat warheads - in Iraq and Afghanistan against al-Qaeda's improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

The report stated that in 2007, "Tamuz missiles purchased by the British were taken from [Israeli army] emergency stocks, out of Israel's desire to help an ally, while still mounted on 14 [Israeli] armoured personnel carriers that were then repainted." They were then transferred to British forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the report.

Satisfied with the missiles, Britain had asked for more supplies, amid silence about having deployed them among its forces, according to Haaretz.

The report said that according to military journal Jane's Defence Weekly, "the British army purchased the missiles to deal with Taliban cells laying explosives charges and mortars that were threatening British patrols in the Basra area of Iraq and Helmand Province in Afghanistan."

The British called the missile the "Exactor," and continued to demand more supplies, so much as to have opened a specific missile production line for itself within the Israeli developer of arms, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.

The report also reveals British-Israeli cooperation in the field of unmanned aircraft. Tamuz missiles are used "in conjunction with Elbit Systems' Hermes 450 drone," which the British army calls Watchkeeper 450.

"The Hermes 450 'acquires' its targets and transmits data to the operators of the Tamuz missiles, which are then fired to destroy the target," the report explained.

According to Haaretz, officers from the British army artillery corpse have been visiting Israel every few weeks over the past two years to train on "Israel's combat doctrine."

The Israeli army did not officially disclose Tamuz until 2011 although it had "significant operational use" in the 2006 war in Lebanon, "when about 500 Tamuz missiles were fired at Hizballah targets," and they are now used "for attacks on Syrian targets from where fire has been directed at the Golan Heights," according to Haaretz.