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MigBuster

Iranian F-4s in Syria?

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Iran's F-4 Phantoms have soldiered on through a decades-long embargo on spares and support equipment, with the jets being maintained by the Iranian industry and parts supplied through the black market. It's thought that just a few dozen Iranian F-4D/Es are actually flyable at any given time.

If these reports of Iranian F-4s supporting Iraqi forces are true, it would be an incredibly reckless move by the Iranians as the Obama Administration has stated time and time again that there is no formal military cooperation among the two usual foes when it comes to defeating ISIS in Iraq. But that's assuming we can take the Obama Administration's statements at face value. There have been rumblings that back-channel conversations about the ISIS issue have occurred during the recent Iranian nuclear negotiations.

With the US and its coalition partners dominating the airspace over Iraq, Iran's precious F-4s would be at risk of being shot down if they even inadvertently approached a US or coalition aircraft. Alternatively, if the these jets are operating freely over Iraq, and not just racing across the border unannounced and back, it would mean that some sort of agreement has been struck between the US.

Such an agreement would be unprecedented and would be inherently risky, as Iranian fighters using non-precision bombing methods and their own rules of engagement could result in massive collateral damage. Seeing as Iran is a Shiite-led country, large casualties among Iraq's Sunni population at the hands of Iranian pilots could deepen the ethnic divides that already plague Iraq and greatly complicate an already intricate situation.

EXPAND

I would bet that the truth lies somewhere in between full-on cooperation and flat-out no cooperation or formal communication, with basic deconfliction of coalition and Iranian air traffic through assigned airspace occurring at the very least. These reports also emerge as other accounts have stated that Iranian commandos are assisting the fledgling Iraqi Army and Shiite militias on the ground and that Iranian aircraft are indeed operating out of Iraqi airfields. So far there has been no substantiation to these claims, with today's image being the first from a decent source that shows direct Iranian involvement in the conflict.

This just reminds us that the old adage "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" is really the only guiding light in that troubled region. Still, common ground against even the bitterest of foes should not be wasted, and hopefully, if our militaries are corresponding and working together on some level, that mutual understanding could blossom into a much less volatile relationship down the road.

Regardless of the possibility of easing of tensions through military cooperation, if Iran is now truly in the anti-ISIS fighting mix with its air power, things just got a lot more complicated in the skies over Arabian Peninsula.

 

 

http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/breaking-iranian-f-4-phantoms-wade-into-the-anti-isis-1665411308

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Good to see them in action against ISIS. It is known that Iranians themselves are producing spare parts for their planes and chopers of US origin, at least mechanical and simpler electronical spare  parts. Also, Iranians are flying Su-25s against ISIS from Iraq's airfields since late summer...

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More posted

 

 

 

Al Jazeera footage aired a few days ago exposed an IRIAF F-4 Phantom performing an air strike on ISIS positions in Iraq.

The news of a cooperation between Washington and Tehran, later confirmed by the Pentagon, quickly spread across the world and images of the Iranian Phantoms in the colors of the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force have appeared on worldwide media outlets. But the Iranian contribution to the air war on ISIS includes other assets.

 

 

An insight into the IRIAF missions in Iraq was provided by Iranian defense expert Babak Taghvaee, a very well known author of several publications about the Iranian air forces and a regular contributor to some of the most read aviation magazines.

Taghvaee summed up the key features about the Iranian air raids in an email to The Aviationist.

 

– 18th to 20th November, several interdiction sorties were performed by the 2nd and 4th TFB’s F-5s in the Diyala province.

 

– Between Nov. 20t and Nov. 23 November, the RF-4Es of IRIAF and UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) of the IRGC-ASF (Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp Aerospace Force) performed recce sorties over Jalula and Saadia.

 

– Between Nov. 23 and Nov. 30, the F-4Es of the 3rd TFB and 9th TFB performed CAS (Close Air Support) sorties for the Kurdish Peshmerga, Badr militia and Iraqi SpecOps.

 

– On Dec. 1 and 2, four Su-24MKs performed several combat air patrols and on-call CAS sorties deep inside Iraqi borders.

 

– On 29th and 30th November, the indigenous Sattar 4 LGBs and GBU-78/A Ghased TV guided bombs were used against the Daesh’s strongholds and heavy trucks successfully for first time in battle zone.

 

 

In conclusion, the Kurds and Iraqis retrieved the cities of Jalula and Saadia under fire support of IRIAF.

“The Americans had full coordination with Iranians during the combat sorties of IRIAF,” Taghvee highlighted.

 

Indeed, although it was theoretically possible for Iranian planes to fly inside Iraq without any coordination with other air forces operating in the same airspace, it would have been suicidal. For proper deconfliction of tactical assets, prior coordination and air space management and control are required.

There are several aircraft performing Airspace Control, Airborne Early Warning over Syria and Iraq: no plane could fly undetected in the area.

 

Anyway, we can’t but notice that, when called into action, the Iranian air force can conduct real combat missions in a low lethality scenario with a variety of (ageing) tactical planes and UAVs: facts that could fuel a much more credible propaganda than that made of some weird or totally fake claims we have commented in the past.

 Image credit: Shahram Sharifi/Wiki

 

 

Sukhoi_Su-24MK_of_IRIAF_flighting_over_Shiraz.jpg

 

http://theaviationist.com/2014/12/04/iriaf-strikes-isis-in-iraq/

 

 

 

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I saw a statement from the administration that we are conducting "uncoordinated deconfliction" with the Syrian AF, apparently with the Iranian AF as well.

 

(shakes head in utter disbelief)

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I got this from Pat Lang's place, 3 December...

 

e'>Ashton Carter - Martin Dempsey and the WH crowd

:

:

- Kirby, the DoD press person, says that there is no "coordination" with Iranian forces in Iraq.  When pressed by Blitzer he says that the Iraqi government is "deconflicting"  air operations in their air space.  That is a form of "coordination." ....

:

:

 

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Nice camos that brown-sand looks great on a Fencer, and I'm glad we can now finally differentiate the good guys from the bad guys in that area of the world.

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My understanding is "coordination" would be "We're going to attack target A and time B, what time are you attacking target C at?"

Deconfliction is more "I see Iranian jets over target A, let's go to our secondary target B instead so we're not too close."

 

In other words, we're staying out of each other's way because the enemy of my enemy doesn't have to be my friend if I don't want it to be...and neither side wants to be.

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