At a time when the Israeli occupation was celebrating the euphoria of the victory it achieved in the air operation “Moked” in 1967, during which it destroyed most of the Arab air force in Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Iraq, Baghdad’s sudden response came to overturn all accounts at the time.
Hours after Israel bombed the H-3 base in western Iraq, Iraqi planes flew on June 6, 1967 to carry out the largest air attack targeting the occupation bases in Palestine. Read also On the anniversary of the October war… This is what the Iraqi Air Force did against Israeli targets on the Egyptian front He played a pivotal role in the conflict with Israel.. The Iraqis are commemorating the centenary of the founding of their army, and this is its most prominent station The most famous Iraqi battles in Palestine.. Learn the full story of the battle of Jenin73 years ago.. How did Iraqi volunteers contribute to preventing the displacement of Palestinians?
start of aggression
The role of the Iraqi air force in the 1967 war was effective despite the absence of a joint operations plan with the Arab air forces. Nevertheless, this force was able to carry out many duties in the Israeli depth from the Iraqi bases of Al-Waleed and Al-Habbaniyah against Tel Aviv, Netanya and Kafr Sarkin, and caused them great losses, according to Major General Pilot Staff Dr. Alwan Hassoun Al-Abousi.
Al-Abousi adds to Al-Jazeera Net that the Iraqi attacks angered the Israeli Air Force, and its planes launched their attacks on Iraqi bases, causing losses to a number of buildings, aircraft and people, and violent air battles took place in which 5 Israeli Futur and Mirage-3 planes were shot down, and a number of its pilots were captured.
Al-Abbousi continues by saying: With the return of the air force that bombed Tel Aviv and its arrival at Al-Waleed Air Base, and while the planes are still on the base runway, a formation of Israeli “Futor, Mirage-3” aircraft attacked the base and managed to hit the plane of the formation’s commander, first lieutenant pilot, Najdat Al-Naqib.
He adds that the attack led to the burning of the captain’s plane, but he miraculously survived the attack, in addition to the burning of an “EN-12” transport plane and another “Dov” type, in addition to a “Mig-21” plane, and hitting the base runway with parachute bombs, and this strike also led A number of pilots were slightly injured.
The Iraqi response
Professor of History, Dr. Khaled Hassan Al-Juma’a indicates that Iraq’s response was quick on the second day of the war, and the Iraqi, Arab and international documents mention that this process was distinct and ingenious and it astonished the Zionist scheme, and almost changed the course of the 1967 war, but it will not get Arab support, and despite This stopped the bleeding of the war and forced the Zionists to comply with the fait accompli.
He explained to Al Jazeera Net, “The Zionists and the Americans called the Iraqi response Operation Lightning because it was outside their calculations,” and that this commando strike was carried out by the Iraqi-Soviet “Tupolev-16” plane, which was equipped with advanced weapons that could not match the superiority of global aviation at that time.
And he goes on Friday: The Iraqi planes entered the heart of the enemy’s atmosphere on the second day of the war, and were able to achieve many victories through the doctrine held by the Iraqi pilots, which astonished the world experts and the Zionists, because of the possibility of these planes reaching those big goals, even though it is a giant plane with large and advanced specifications In addition, its payload was high, as it carried 6 bombs, each weighing approximately half a ton, and equipped with machine guns that she was able to use after the missiles ran out.
He points out that this process is studied in many international military academies, because of its audacity, and Israel did not stop taking revenge on Iraq because of this operation.
plan and implementation
Colonel Abdul-Jabbar Hamed Al-Abo tells the details of what happened: A plan was drawn up to bomb the Israeli “Ramat David” base, by directing an air strike on the base with 4 giant Tupolev-16 bombers.
He explained to Al-Jazeera Net that the plan included the launch of Iraqi planes from the Habbaniyah base, west of Baghdad, at dawn on June 6, 1967, with a high flight and a time difference of 15 minutes between one plane and another, until they reached the Mafraq base in northern Jordan, and then descended by low flight to avoid detection from Israeli radars, to rise seconds before it reached the base and bombed it.
Regarding the details of what happened that day, Colonel Rokn said: The first plane took off at 4:45 a.m. from the Habbaniyah base until it reached the Mafraq base in northern Jordan, to start with a low flight and cross the Jordan River and head towards the Ramat David base, surprising it completely, throwing heavy bombs on it and causing destruction. Al-Qaeda leader, then returns to Iraq and lands at the Habbaniyah base.
Al-Abou explains that the second plane was delayed due to a technical defect, and then took off heading in the same way to attack the Israeli base from the west, and after it reached the Mediterranean coast, it headed north, and was confronted by an Israeli Mirage plane, but it fled after the Iraqi plane opened fire on it. Heavy, then approached the base to be confronted by a second Israeli Mirage plane and fired an air-to-air missile and hit it, but it did not fall directly and its pilot tried to return to Iraq, but due to the explosion of the fuel tank led to its fall west of the city of Afula in Palestine, and after the fall of the second plane was canceled The missions of the third and fourth planes, and ordering them to return to Iraq.
He attributes the reason for choosing the Ramat base to being the first air base handed over by the British occupation to the Zionist gangs on May 26, 1948. Its strategic importance lies in the fact that it is in the middle of northern Palestine, close to Lebanon, Syria and northern Jordan, and is one of the 3 main air bases.
The Israeli base suffered losses during the lightning operation, which was the downing of a Mirage plane, the injury of two other protection patrols, and the neutralization of about 43 soldiers at the base, according to researcher Dureid Abdullah.
He adds to Al Jazeera Net that a large number of Israeli planes were significantly damaged during the operation, and 9 buildings were destroyed, most notably a main command center, warehouses and two runways.
Abdullah confirms that the figures for the Israeli losses were obtained from one of the military planners in the IDF at the time, and were confirmed by US documents obtained during his visit to Washington.
He continues that the charred bodies of the Iraqi crew, numbering 6, were kept by Israel until the prisoner exchange took place on June 27, 1967 at the Allenby Bridge in Jordan. The captured Israeli pilots were exchanged at the Iraqi H-3 base, with 3 Iraqi officers and 425 Jordanians. A symbolic funeral was held for them, in the presence of the government ministers at the time, and empty tombs were built for some of them. Israel buried the remains of the crew’s remains in a cemetery located southwest of the city of Afula in a number of numbered graves.
And the history professor concludes Friday by saying: The masses of Iraq in Baghdad and the provinces rejoiced at what the heroes of this operation presented, and they buried these bodies later when Israel returned them to Iraq, and the government of President Abdul Rahman Aref worked for them as a monument in Baghdad.