A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Monday, December 1, 2014

F-4 Phantom Attacking ISIS in Diyala: Most Likely Iranian

Al Jazeera via Jane's
To anyone my age the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom was one of the most familiar of military aircraft for decades, but these days in the US you're more likely to see one in a museum or a retrospective air show than in combat. but the picture above, which is undeniably an F-4, is said to be attacking ISIS positions in Iraq's Diyala Province. If so, it is most likely evidence taht the Iranian Air Force is providing ground support to Iraqi forces fighting ISIS.

The Jane's report says the photo is from a video aired by Al Jazeera, which I have not found. In the region, Turkey does still operate F-4s (and lost one to Syrian fire as recently as 2012), but is not likely to be operating over Diyala. (Egypt and Israel both have F-4s but have far more modern and capable strike aircraft and are not known to be operating against ISIS.)

In July there were reports from IISS that Iraq's "new" Su-25s had Iranian tail codes, and there are reports of Iranian advisers in Diyala, which borders Iran.

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