Israeli Invasion of Gaza Receives Extensive Recon Support From Forward Based British Warplanes

New evidence has revealed that the British Armed Forces have provided significant support to the ongoing Israeli war effort against Palestinian militia groups through surveillance flights over the Gaza Strip. Since the outbreak of hostilities on October 7 Western countries have provided significant and growing support to Israeli military efforts, with the United States revealed in November 2023 to have also been deploying MQ-9 Reaper drones for surveillance of Gaza and passing intelligence to Israeli forces. The CIA has also provided intelligence on the locations of Palestinian leaders to support ongoing Israeli assassination attempts, and alongside advisors the U.S. also reported to have deployed special forces for combat in the theatre. Assistance and particularly provision of armaments has faced some criticism in the West for diverting much needed support and attention away from Ukraine at a time of accelerating Russian advances. Much as Britain took a leading role in supporting the Ukrainian war effort, including deployment of Royal Marines from early 2022 for frontline combat operations against Russian forces, the Royal Air Force has also flown over 50 surveillance flights over Gaza since December from the country’s airbase in Cyprus RAF Akrotiri – a Permanent Joint Operating Base. It was previously revealed that the country was also provided armaments to support an ongoing invasion of the territory by Israeli forces. 

RAF Akrotiri has previously served as a key staging ground for British offensive operations into the Middle East against both Syria and Iraq. In 2013 Syria deployed Su-24M2 strike fighters newly modernised in Russia to fly near the facility in shows of force to demonstrate its retaliatory capability against it at a time when London was leading calls in the Western world for an attack on the country. The base has also been a centre of tensions with Russia, with British sources reporting in 2021 that Russian forces made repeated efforts to jam the GPS navigation systems used by Royal Air Force aircraft operating from Cyprus. RAF Akrotiri was established in 1955, a year before the Suez Crisis, during which it served as a key staging ground for a joint invasion of Egypt alongside French and Israeli forces. The base in the past also hosted America CIA U-2 surveillance aircraft deployed to monitory Egyptian forces in the aftermath of the Yom Kippur War with Israel. The facility was more recently used as a staging ground for offensives against Libya in 2011, and from January 12, 2024, has been used for strikes against Yemeni Ansuruallah Coalition forces.