Operation Babylon

The Raid on the Reactor
On Sunday, June 7, 1981, eight Israeli state of the art F-16A & six F-15A jets flew 990 miles from Etzion Air Force Base in the Sinai to just south of Baghdad, Iraq. Carrying sixteen unguided Mark-84 2,000 pound delay-action bombs and flying 100 feet above the ground to avoid radar detection at 690 mph, their target was the Osirak nuclear reactor that the Iraqi’s called Tammuz-1.
According to Mossad & satellite intelligence, the facility would be operational by the end of the month, and with Saddam Hussein’s widely known hatred for Israel and cat and mouse game of the purpose and intentions of the reactor, the raid was carried out.
IDF Chief of Staff Lt. General Rafael Eitan, during pilot briefing, told them with unusual emotion, “The alternative is our destruction.”
On the way, the attack force flew directly over vacationing King Hussein’s yacht and Hussein, startled but recognizing the markings on the low flying planes and guessing their destination, notified his government to warn the Iraqi’s. That warning was never delivered.
Arriving completely undetected in Iraqi airspace (Iraqi soldiers of western air defenses turned off their radar and were having lunch) the raid rendered the reactor unusable. In 80 seconds, it was all over.
According to Ze’ev Raz, the leader of the attack force, the Israeli pilots radioed each other and recited Joshua 10:12 as they returned to base.
The raid, of course, produced an international firestorm of criticism, even in the United States. The Israeli’s were cast as terrorists who dared to challenge the pure and peaceful motives of those selling, constructing, regulating & monitoring the facility with this pre-emptive firebombing.
History would indicate it to be the best decision.
Isaiah 31:5, “As birds flying, so will the LORD of hosts defend Jerusalem; defending also he will deliver it; and passing over he will preserve it.”
-Pastor Stein

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