Updated January 16th, 2022 at 20:55 IST
Israel prepares secret 'wish list' of weapons for US to confront Iran, Hezbollah: Report
The "wish list" included a variety of "aerial munitions" that Tel Aviv feels will be needed in the event of a war against Iran or Hezbollah in Lebanon.
The Israeli government is said to have prepared a secret "wish list" of weapons it desires the US to store in its Israeli-based War Reserves Stock Allies (WRSA-I) - stockpiles of American weapons stored for the country's use in the event of a war. The "wish list" included a variety of "aerial munitions" that Tel Aviv feels will be needed in the event of a confrontation against Iran or Hezbollah in Lebanon, Sputnik reported citing the military news outlet Breaking Defense. According to a report released by the US Congressional Research Service (CRS) in 2020, WRSA-I is basically a weapons stockpile for the US military but it can also be tapped by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) in the event of an "emergency."
"All such equipment is officially owned by the US military. However, if a conflict arises, the IDF can use some of the equipment after taking permission," the report stated. At least once, the US has authorized Israel to access the reserves. It happened during the 2014 Gaza War between the Israeli Defense Forces and Hamas. The Israeli forces used 120mm mortar shells and 40mm grenade launcher rounds that were on their way to be decommissioned as they were too old.
Israel intends to procure bunker-buster bombs from the US
According to the report, the stored weapons at WRSA-I received a massive boost in 2014, with a total worth exceeding $1.8 billion. Apart from ammunition, the stock also contains smart bombs, missiles, and armoured military vehicles. Israel has frequently stated that it will not allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons and that, if necessary, it will take action against Iran's nuclear sites. As per media reports, Israel has also requested from the US the procurement of 2.3-tonne GBU-72 bunker-buster bombs, ostensibly to attack Iranian nuclear sites located deep below.
Iran insists its nuclear programme is peaceful
Meanwhile, Iran has often claimed that its nuclear programme is peaceful. It also slammed the international community's "double standards," citing its fixation on Iran's nuclear programme and a lack of scrutiny to the countless reports that Tel Aviv developed nuclear weapons decades ago. However, Israel neither denies nor confirms its nuclear status, and it remains silent on rumours of nuclear weapons stockpiles, Sputnik reported.
Published January 16th, 2022 at 20:55 IST