In a widely-reported event, the Israeli Air Force shot down a mysterious unmanned drone that was flying over its Negev Desert region (see first link). The Israeli military states the drone was not launched from the Hamas-controlled Gaza, which adds considerably to the mystery of its origin. Israeli radars monitor the Gaza Strip continually to look for terrorist rocket launches against Israeli targets so if this drone was launched from Gaza, the Israelis would have seen exactly where it was launched.
I see only three possible options for its origin. The first option is that it was launched from Egypt’s Sinai region and veered into Israel after a short trip over the Mediterranean Sea. The second option is that it was launched from an Iranian naval vessel (or a vessel sympathetic to Iran). Syrian and Hezbollah vessels are allied to Iran so were any such vessels in the area? The second link reported that Egypt allowed Iranian warships to enter the Mediterranean Sea in September 2012. Were these Iranian ships in the Eastern Mediterranean where they could have launched this drone? It is no secret that Iran has unmanned drones to use. If Egyptian soil was used to launch an Iranian drone, it would represent a dangerous shift by Egypt to ally itself with Iran.
The whole world knows that Israel is considering a preemptive military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities. Israel’s nuclear reactor is located at Dimona in the Negev region (the general region where the mysterious drone was shot down). Was this mysterious drone a warning by Iran to Israel that if Iranian nuclear facilities are attacked, Iran will make every effort to attack and destroy Israel’s Dimona reactor? If so, this incident has warned the Israelis to be doubly-alerted to possible Iranian strikes by unconventional means against Israel’s Dimona nuclear plant if hostilities begin between Israel and Iran.
The third option is that the drone was an American or western-nation drone. Given the hostility of the Obama administration toward Israel and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, Israel has made it known that it will not give the USA advance warning if Israel decides to strike Iran. This means that Israel and the USA will not be sharing intelligence information in the usual manner as long as Obama is president. There are also Israeli military bases in the Negev region. The USA has many kinds of unmanned drones and conceivably could have launched one from a western/NATO ship to monitor the alert status of Israeli military bases to determine whether an attack vs. Iran is imminent. However, the USA has readily-available satellite reconnaissance options to monitor Israeli military bases with remarkable visible precision so there would seem to be no need for the USA to use an unannounced drone for such an effort.
Based on the evidence, I favor one of the first two options as the likely explanation. In either case, the role of Egypt acting as an ally of Iran to make such a drone flight happen is worrisome. Egypt was a force for stability in the Mideast under Mubarak. Egypt is increasingly a force for instability in the Mideast now that the Islamic Brotherhood has elected one of its own as the leader of Egypt. Is Egypt sliding into the Gog-Magog alliance as an ally of Iran? I very much hope not. However, Egypt’s slide into Iran’s camp makes it very important that Syria’s Assad be toppled and that Syria be led by a new pro-Saudi, anti-Iranian leader. This outcome is in the interests of Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Israel, the USA and the entire western world. The Mideast is becoming an increasingly dangerous region.
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