Declassified: Soviets planned a false flag attack on Dimona

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Editor’s Note…

The unexplained Israeli attack  on the USS Liberty during the six day war in 1967 is often misunderstood as an attempt to manufacture a false flag and blame it on the Egyptian air force. This crackpot theory was debunked by us at the time [Link].

A surprising twist of fate has recently made public previously declassified Soviet memories which expose Soviet preparations and plans to attack the Israeli reactor in Dimona in a false flag operation that should have been blamed on their own allies in the Egyptian air force. This botched plan appears to have repeated itself in subsequent wars in 1973 and 1983, and would have vastly increaserd the prospects of a third world war, possibly nuclear, had they been carried out in reality.

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Israel Defense

(Translated by the Editor)

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union memories of the Soviet regime officials began to appear regarding the activities and ideas towards Israel, especially during the wars against Arab countries who were allies of Moscow. Especially prominent is the theme of intentions and preparations to harm Israeli strategic objectives of the first order – such as the nuclear reactor near Dimona.

Recently it was reported that a Soviet general and veteran Vasily Reshetnikov , who served as commander of Air Force strategic bombers Soviet years 1969  to 1980 , then deputy commander of the Soviet Air Force in 1980-1986 , revealed his memoirs in an interview marking the anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany , including the instruction received during the Six Day War , to get ready to bomb the nuclear reactor in Dimona , and other goals of the IDF in the Sinai. at the time served as the general commander of the bombers squadron , which was supposed to perform this task on the evening of June 10 , after the IDF opened an attack on Syria .

The General noted that the guidelines received and was told to delete the identifying marks of a Soviet aircraft and replace them with colors and identifying marks of the Egyptian Air Force , and to confiscate the ID cards of the pilots who will participate in the mission. ” If they are caught , they should be silent or to lie and not to disclose the involvement of the Soviet Union, they told us.” ( Incidentally, this was also used to hide the presence of Soviet pilots in Egypt during the War of Attrition in 1969-1970 ).

According to other sources, relating to Soviet involvement in the Six Day War, the Israeli attack on Syria was a serious concern in the Soviet leadership as to the fate of the Syrian friend, and they feared the occupation of Damascus by Israel, and the fall of the Syrian pro Soviet Baath regime . They therefore called on Israel to withdraw its forces from Syria without delay. Israel continued its attack on the Syrian front, and after the conquest of Quneitra on June 10 the  Syrians reported to Moscow that Israeli tanks advanced toward the Syrian capital, and asked that it take all possible steps to prevent the Israeli attack, otherwise it will be too late for Syria. 

As a result, the Soviets launched a naval force that included a missile cruiser and a number of submarines on the Syrian coast, and on the afternoon broke off diplomatic relations with Israel, accusing it of violating Security Council resolutions on ceasefire in the Middle East. The Soviets sent an ultimatum at the same time the president of the United States, Johnson, with a complaint that Israel is not in compliance with the UN Security Council for an immediate ceasefire, and ordered him to persuade Israel to stop the attack immediately, and threatened to take every step necessary, including military measures if Israel did not stop the fighting within a few hours.

Against this background, preparations were made to various arms of the Soviet armed forces . According to an earlier interview with Reshetnikov , the General Staff ordered a TU-16 bombers Brigade ( commanded by him) , which was prepared in Ukraine , with three squadrons ( 30 bombers ) , to paint the planes with Egyptian Air Force colors , and prepare to attack Israeli targets . Aircraft were armed with nuclear and conventional bombs , and two of them were painted according flew from their base in Ukraine base in the North Caucasus to be close to target and ready for the mission. Shortly after it was exposed to Western media and subsequently ordered two aircraft to return to base their home base.

This dramatic move was eventually aborted. According to Reshetnikov , dramatic phone conversation between Soviet ruler – Leonid Brezhnev and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson , prevented the bombing and planned invasion of Soviet troops by sea to Haifa .In a  Conversation between the two leaders , conducted in the “Red Telephone”, the Soviet ruler warned that if the IDF forces advance toward Damascus , the Soviet Union would take steps employed include attacking targets in Israel .

The Soviet Foreign Minister suggested during the crisis to take another step and sever diplomatic relations with Jerusalem instead of military intervention . Brezhnev and Johnson, who understood that Soviet military intervention may cause deterioration into a nuclear war , agreed on a diplomatic move . Reshetnikov added that the operation prevented at the last minute due to its stunning success of the Israeli war and the Soviet ambitious plan was canceled at the last minute due to Israel’s success in destroying the Egyptian air force on the first day of the war. Also, after the war it became clear that Soviet intelligence was not aware of U.S. missiles stationed to protect the area of the reactor from air strikes .