Airpower has long been a favoured instrument in Middle Eastern wars, and none more so than by Israel. The country has been particularly innovative in its use of airpower, emulated by many, now including Iran. The uncertain origin and ambiguous meaning of the attacks on Saudi oil facilities by Iranian-made drones and cruise missiles is a play straight out of what has been described as Israel’s ongoing “war between the wars” campaign.

Israel has pioneered the use of undeclared air raids. In 2007, a suspected Syrian nuclear installation was destroyed, but no one claimed responsibility at the time. The tactic was then used episodically in Sudan: in 2009 in attacks on a truck convoy and later a ship in Port Sudan; in a 2012 strike on a suspected munitions factory in Khartoum; and in 2014 in an attack on a military installation near Omdurman. Israel did not claim to be involved, although it vigorously complained about the use of Sudanese territory by Iran as an arms trans-shipment point en route to Gaza.

Please click here to read the full “Undeclared air strikes: Between war and peace” article published at The Interpreter, written by Griffith Asia Institute Visiting Fellow, Dr Peter Layton.