Tags Posts tagged with "IAF"

IAF

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Yesterday we set out for a fun day on the slopes.

Thankfully, when we reached the peaks at Faraya, the lifts were running smoothly:
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And the mountains were blanketed:
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But, as usual, we had some unexpected visitors:

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Ruining that perfect shot:

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Crisscrossing over the skies

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And down toward the slopes:

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Looping and looping:

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Letting us know they were there:

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At one point, it seemed there were trying to entertain us with shapes:

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But I have seen this air show before. And it’s not the kind you want to attend or choose to attend.

These are Israeli fighter aircraft routinely violating Lebanon’s airspace–an air show of intimidation if you will.

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We see it so often in Beirut–I’ve posted about them before. Last year there wasn’t enough snow for boarding, but we saw them the one day I went in 2013–see pictures here.

It’s as if they are always there. Some years they bomb, some years they don’t. You’re never quite sure when they are armed and when they are not. Would any other country tolerate this?

But the F16s didn’t stop us from having a good day. Here are a couple panorama shots.

That’s Biblical Mount Hermon (Jabal el Shaykh) in the distance:

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This is the view toward North Lebanon (Al Arz) and the Mediterranean is on the far left.
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One word of advice for those heading up this year: Put chains for your tires because the roads are not exactly clear:

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    Source: World Tribune

    In case you haven’t heard, The United States has donated one Cessna prop plane to Lebanon as part of its “commitment” toward strengthening the Lebanese Air Force.

    Says US ambassador  David Hale in a big ceremony:

    We will remain committed to strengthening the capacity of the LAF so it can pursue its mission of securing Lebanon’s borders, defending the sovereignty and independence of the state, and of achieving Lebanese unity and stability, to enable the full implementation of Security Council resolutions, including 1701 and 1559.

    Whoa! That must be one hell of a Cessna, Ambassador!

    I mean Lebanon’s neighbor Israel has over 700 advanced aircraft and its other neighbor Syria probably has hundreds more.

    By contrast, the puny Lebanese air force is largely made up of a dozen or so Vietnam-era helicopters:

    And while Uncle Sam was being so committed to Lebanon with this little propeller plane, last week it began delivering six of its most advanced aircraft to Israel at a total cost of over $400 million.

    Hmmm. That doesn’t seem very balanced. Unless….

    Ambassador Hale throws in a pilot! And there’s really only one man up to the job:

    Maybe two:

    At the very least, the state department should send us some Red Baron Pizza:

    That’s sure to distract the Israelis from the humus wars.

    The sad truth is Lebanon did once have a functioning air force:

    You can read more about the LAF’s illustrious history at  LebaneseAirforce.info an interesting site with lots of great pictures like the one above, shot during the 1969 Independence Day parade. According to the site, Lebanon sold many of its remaining aircraft to Pakistan in 2000. I wonder where that money went!

    It probably disappeared as fast as these boys once did over the Bekaa Valley:

    Another mystery is how this LAF plane landed at an Israeli war museum:

    Source

    The truth is, even Israel’s retired US planes are probably far more advanced than the current fleet of Lebanon or any neighboring Arab country. Now that’s American commitment!


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      Moments ago it was a peaceful day on the Mediterranean; a cool breeze with barely a cloud in the sky.

      Until the rumbling began:

      It is an instantly recognizable sound, slow and laborious, wavering in and out like thunder…

      Always conjuring memories of death and destruction–that time, those many times they dropped red dots in the wake of their contrails…

      Shaking the ground beneath your feet seconds later, sending columns of black smoke into the skies and your heart lunging toward your throat.

      They twist around a few times and then come headed toward you, right over your head:

      Moments later they disappear. You never know why they were here. All you know is that they will probably back to interrupt your life again… tonight, tomorrow, next week.

      Who knows what mission they will be on then, and what tools of diplomacy they will be bearing beneath their wings.

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        UPDATE (3 minutes later):

        Round two- tighter formation:

        And 5 minutes later–round 3:

        About 20 minutes later (12:15PM), comes round 4:

        (Notice position of sun is changing in each shot.)

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          Israeli jets over Beirut yesterday, hours before the convoy attack

          So it seems those Israeli jets I’ve been blogging and tweeting about all week seem to have had a purpose other than pure intimidation.

          According to the AP, they bombed a shipment of SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles last night in Syria reportedly en route to Hezbollah.

          Yet while the AP article notes Hezbollah is “committed to Israel’s destruction,” (which is debatable I think) it fails to mention that Israel is also committed to the destruction of Hezbollah or any resistance to the Israeli Air Force’s domination of our skies.

          In fact, the article notes that if Hezbollah attained the missiles: it would change the balance of power in the region and greatly hinder Israel’s ability to conduct air sorties in Lebanon.”

          Don’t the Israelis realize that most Lebanese people do not want to see Israeli air sorties over Lebanon and that its in fact their frequent air strikes and intimidation over our skies that attract people to resistance movements?