LONDON – Saudi Arabia will allow Israel to use a narrow corridor of its airspace in the north of the country to shorten the distance for a bombing run on Iran’s nuclear facilities, the London Times reported on Saturday.
Quoting unnamed U.S. defense sources, the newspaper said Riyadh conducted tests to be sure its own jets would not be scrambled and missile defenses not be activated so Israeli bombers could pass by without problems.
The path would shorten Israel’s bomb run, The Times said.
Once the Israelis go through, the kingdom’s air defenses would return to full alert, the newspaper said.
“The Saudis have given their permission for the Israelis to pass over and they will look the other way,” said a U.S. defense source in the Persian Gulf area told the Times. “They have already done tests to make sure their own jets aren’t scrambled and no one gets shot down. This has all been done with the agreement of the [US] State Department.”
Sources in Saudi Arabia said it is common knowledge within kingdom defense circles that an arrangement is in place if Israel decides to launch the raid, the Times said. Despite the tension between the two governments, they share a mutual loathing of the regime in Tehran and a common fear of Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
“We all know this. We will let them [the Israelis] through and see nothing,” a Saudi source told the Times.