The Day Israel Proved it had the World’s Best Air Force

Operation Opera (Hebrew: מבצע אופרה‎), also known as Operation Babylon, was a surprise airstrike conducted by the Israeli Air Force on 7 June 1981, which destroyed an unfinished Iraqi nuclear reactor which was located 17 11 miles southeast of Baghdad, Iraq. The distance the Israeli Air Force had to traverse was close to 1,000 miles.

The Israeli planes would have to violate Jordanian and/or Saudi airspace in a covert flight over foreign territory, making mid-air refueling highly dangerous and thus unfeasible. The Israeli military eventually concluded that a squadron of heavily fueled and heavily armed F-16As, with a group of F-15As to provide air cover and fighter support, could perform a surgical strike to eliminate the reactor site without having to refuel. It was risky, but it sure did work.

As usual, Israelis defending themselves from a country who repeatedly and openly swore they were going to obliterate the Jewish State drew swift condemnation from the entire world. Israel was exoriated in the UN, enemies and foes went nuts, and even close allies joined into the fray like the United States, who harshly rebuked Israel. An example of the response is best summed up with the New York Times headline stating, “Israel’s sneak attack … was an act of inexcusable and short-sighted aggression.”

The hero pilots trained intensely for what was considered the most daring raid in military history, and here is the story of how it went down…I assure you this is worth watching, of all of Israel’s military achievements, this one is by far the top of the list!

I included three videos of 5,15, 40 minutes in length…enjoy at your leisure!