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Monday, 21st April 2014

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NATO used Israeli ammunition to bomb Libya

At least one of the NATO states involved in the 2011 war against Libya used ‘smart-bomb’ components specially imported from Israel to bombard that Arab country. Information on the use of Israeli weaponry against Libya was contained in a report released by the Danish Air Force Tactical Command following a Freedom of Information Act request, and has since been confirmed by General Peter Bartram, who is head of Denmark’s armed forces.

The Danish justification for deploying Israeli military supplies against Libya is that the extent of NATO bombing of Libya was so high that Denmark ran out of ammunition for its military jets and therefore needed to acquire more materiel.  Danish F-16 warplanes flew 600 missions and dropped 923 precision bombs on Libyan targets.

As well as from Israel, the Danes also imported munitions from the USA and Holland during the seven month war. The Israeli munitions referred to in the Danish Air Force report were described as parts for precision bombs.

The recently revealed information has caused some confusion in Denmark, where politicians who were the responsible government ministers at that time have denied giving specific authorisation to obtain Israeli materiel. The Danish newspaper Politiken, which had made the Freedom of Information Act request, reported:

Then Defence Minister Gitte Lillelund Bech says she was told that the Danish contingent lacked munitions and gave the green light to purchase or borrow from the Netherlands and Poland.

“But I never heard anything about Israel in that connection. Nothing at all,” she says.

The foreign minister at the time – Lene Espersen – was not asked either.

“As foreign minister I was not aware of the weapons used by the defence forces, nor where they came from,” Espersen says.

The newspaper also reported the comments of Defence Chief Peter Bartram:

 “The military does not carry out foreign policy. What we do with other countries is approved at the political level,” Bartram says.

Asked why Israel was contacted for supplies, Bartram says the supplies were hard to find.

“A fighter is not just a fighter. There are different configurations. And not all countries have precisely the type of ammunition relevant to Danish aircraft. So only a certain group of countries are relevant,” Bartram says.

For its part, NATO did not admit having a role in the Danish decision to use Israeli munitions against Libya:

 Although Israel has been a NATO partner for many years, NATO denies that the political approval claimed by [General] Bartram came from NATO.

“NATO plays no role at all in connection with the purchase or borrowing of ammunition from Israel. It is a bilateral issue between member and partner countries,” a centrally placed NATO source says.

However, for top military decision makers there is something of a revolving door between the Danish Armed forces and NATO. General Peter Bartram, who was appointed Chief of Defence in Denmark in March 2012, had at the time of the war against Libya been serving as assistant chief-of-staff at the NATO Allied Command, a post based in the USA. General Knud Bartels, who was Denmark’s Chief of Defence during the war, has since taken up the post of Chairman of NATO’s military committee.

It may also be noted that the report on the military campaign against Libya released by the Danish Air Force Tactical Command was heavily redacted. The content of this classified information, which is presumably of an even more sensitive nature, can only be speculated on.

As remarked in the article in Politiken, Israel although not a NATO member is an official partner of the Western military alliance, and there is deep cooperation between NATO and the zionist republic. Israel’s main foriegn suppliers for weaponry, which it uses to occupy Palestine and the Syrian Golan Heights as well as threatening the region with its nuclear arsenal, are of course the NATO states, principally the USA, Germany, Britain, France and Italy. In addition there is extensive direct military cooperation; for example as reported by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz on 11th October 2012:

Admiral James Stavridis, NATO supreme commander, is scheduled to visit Israel in two weeks at the height of a joint exercise carried out by the Israeli and U.S. armies.

American forces participating in this drill, Austere Challenge 12, have already begun to gather in recent days. The training exercise will be based in southern Israel, on Israel Air Force bases and various firing ranges.

Some 1,500 US servicemen are expected to take part in the drill - about 1,000 fewer than originally planned, but still more than in previous joint exercises.

Israel and NATO against Syria

Israel and the NATO countries also have common interests in intensifying the conflict in Syria. The ‘Jewish state’ is careful not to take a too prominent (in public) international role in support of the foriegn-sponsored civil war in Syria; this would be self-defeating, particularly as it would embarrass the Arab Gulf kingdoms and anti-government forces within Syria. However, the Israeli establishment has made sure to let its supporters at home and abroad know that Israel has an active policy. This is not merely to severely weaken Syria, but to achieve regime change against the government of Bashar al-Assad. Some of the reasons for this were outlined in an interview with the former Israeli National Security Advisor Efraim Halevy conducted in February 2012 by the Los Angeles Times and reprinted in the Jerusalem Post:

Instability in Syria poses stark security risks for Israel, but it also offers a chance to deliver a stinging blow to Iran's regional ambitions and even its nuclear program, Israel's former national security advisor says.

[...]  Efraim Halevy, who also led the Mossad spy agency from 1998 to 2002, believes Israel should also focus on exploiting the opportunity to strike Iran politically and diplomatically through the fall of Syrian President Bashar Assad, a staunch ally of Iran [...]

Halevy, now a leading intelligence analyst here, said Israel should start to look at Iran and Syria as two sides of the same problem.

In the interview, among the motivations for which was very likely to signal to Jewish, Christian and business supporters of the pro-Israel lobby in the USA that they should get behind the campaign for regime change in Syria, Halevy told the L. A. Times:

Iran has invested enormous efforts in trying to secure Syria as a major partner. The Alawite minority is very close to the Shiites in Iran. The Syrian army is mainly based on Alawite command and has units that are purely Alawite. This makes the Iranian investment all the more important.

Syria is also the conduit for Iran's arming of the Hezbollah Shiite forces in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza. If the regime falls in Syria and the Iranians are expelled, this is going to be a horrendous defeat for Iran...

Revealing Israel’s interest in promoting sectarian conflict between Muslim Arabs, to deflect from Israel’s policy of disposession and oppression of Arab people, Halevy added:

Israel shouldn't be directly involved for obvious reasons. Once Israel enters the fray, this becomes an Israeli-Arab or Israeli-Muslim confrontation, which deflects attention from the main issues of Sunni-Shiite, and the Shiite repression of a majority in a foreign country. Israel should promote through its channels with major powers in the world a dialogue between leaders in Western nations and Russia to try to forge a common policy on Syria, which would entail mutual concessions at the American and Russian level [...]

Israel has certain interests in Syria which have to be taken into account. The ultimate resolution of this crisis should not leave an Iranian presence in Syria with a weakened Assad. I don't want to see Iran having its own finger on the button of Syria's strategic weapons. Israel must make sure this does not happen.

Efraim Halevy, who was born in London UK and emigrated to Israel at the age of 18, served 28 years in Mossad, the Israeli intelligence / security / assassination service. He has experience in the matter of destroying Arab solidarity against zionist occupation; he is credited with achieving the Israeli ‘peace treaty’ with Jordan in 1994.  From 1996 to 1998 he was Israeli ambassador to the European Union. Within Israel, Halevy is regarded as a ‘moderate’ figure.