Jordan allowed Israeli jets to use its airspace during Iran attack: report

Jordan allowed Israeli jets to use its airspace during Iran attack: report
Jordan allowed Israeli jets to enter its airspace, as Iran launched a missile and drone barrage on the country on Saturday, according to reports.
3 min read
16 April, 2024
Jordan reportedly allowed Israeli fighter jets into its airspace to shoot down missiles and drones launched by Iran towards Israel [Getty]

Jordan reportedly allowed Israeli fighter jets into its airspace to shoot down missiles and drones launched by Iran towards Israel, according to a Wall Street Journal report, marking what is believed to be the first time Amman had allowed such action.

The report cited an Israeli air force officer as saying that the move was coordinated with the US military.

Late on Saturday, Iran launched a large-scale retaliatory attack on Israel, firing over 300 drones and missiles after Israel had bombed its consulate in the Syrian capital Damascus, killing several people including two senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps commanders.

Israel was able to intercept most of the drones due to the involvement of Arab countries, who passed along intelligence about the attack before it took place.

According to WSJ, Jordan was one of the countries that opened its airspace to Israeli warplanes, shared radar tracking information, and in some cases, supplied their own forces to help.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE did not agree to open their airspace for Israel and the US despite passing on intelligence to Washington about the attack.

Live Story

The WJS said the move by the Gulf state was an indication of the two countries trying to maintain a delicate balance as tensions rise in the region with Saudi Arabia and the UAE both enjoying more cordial ties with Tehran and trying to prevent a major escalation between Iran and Israel.

Since Iran’s attack on Israel, the region has been on high alert.

Live Story

'Limited' Israeli response

Washington said on Tuesday it believed that Israel’s response to Iran's attack was likely to be limited and may instead focus on targeting Iranian proxies, such as Hezbollah in Lebanon or Islamist militias in Syria.

US officials told NBC the lack of serious damage caused by Tehran may result in a less aggressive response from Israel.

According to NBC, the US expects Israel to provide updates regarding decisions it makes but does not intend to take part in the retaliation.

A report on Israel’s Channel 12 on Monday said that Israel's war cabinet decided to hit back against Iran with a clear response designed to send a message that Israel will not allow attacks to take place without a reaction but did not want to spark a regional war or affect the Arab and Western coalition that helped defend it against Tehran's attack.

Live Story

Iran closing nuclear facilities

Iran has been bracing for a potential retaliation, with concerns over the possibility of an Israeli strike on an Iranian nuclear facility mounting.

On Tuesday, Iran temporarily closed its nuclear facilities over "security considerations".

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Rafael Grossi confirmed the news, adding that inspectors were not allowed to return to nuclear facilities until the situation was completely calm.

Since its attack on Israel, Iran has warned Israel of an even greater response on its territory should it retaliate.

"If the Zionist regime [Israel] or its supporters demonstrate reckless behaviour, they will receive a decisive and much stronger response," President Ebrahim Raisi said in comments made on Sunday.

This follows a similar statement from Iranian military chief Major-General Mohammad Bagheri who said that a much larger response awaits Israel if it retaliates.

Netanyahu shuns phone calls

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shunned phone calls from Western leaders reportedly over fears he would be prevented from responding to Iran's attack.

Israel’s public broadcaster Kan said on Monday that foreign leaders tried to schedule talks with Netanyahu following the attack but were denied, with only US President Joe Biden able to reach the premier.

Netanyahu’s office did not comment on the issue, however, Haaretz reported that international pressure on Israel is mounting, and significantly affects the decision to attack Iran.