Davide Cazzoni, per Equilibri.net
1- The straightest and relatively easy route for Israeli aircraft, through Jordanian and Iraqi airspace. Amman would hardly react militarly and limit its retaliation to a public complaint. Going through Iraq makes Washington’s consensus necessary, but US involvement would mean serious consequences for the region’s stability. Entering Iran by overflying southern Al Faw Peninsula through Persian Gulf would not limit significantly US liabilities, while the route has not advantages in terms of length.
2- Bypassing Jordan through the Gulf of Aqaba and entering Saudi airspace means a much longer route, but Riadh complaining would not be a serious problem. Saudi Arabia-Iran regional rivalry is known.
3- The northern route through Mediterranian Sea (along Lebanese and Syrian coasts) and Turkish-Syrian border needs above all Ankara’s consensus, which is not guaranteed despite of good relations with Jerusalem. In this scenario, with Esfahan as the farthest target, the Israeli aircraft should consider to lose some fighters because a refuelling mission in Turkish territory would be unlikely. Helicopters for Search&Rescue operations could be necessary off the Turkish coast.
4- The longest route, through the Gulf of Aqaba-Saudi Arabia-Kuwait needs a dangerous refuelling mission above Persian Gulf, with the Israeli aircraft vulnerable to an Iranian counter-attack.
Copyright Equilibri.net 2008