History 17/01/20 Operation “Penicillin”: how Mossad stole the MiG-21

Israel is one of the smallest (in area and population) of the States of the middle East region. Therefore, the rate the government has always done not only on military strength but on intelligence. Not just the situation in the middle East changed fundamentally thanks to a successful operation “Mossad”. Operation “Diamond”, also known as “Penicillin”, is a vivid example of such a case.

the MiG-21 and the situation in the region

the Soviet third-generation fighter MiG-21 appeared in the mid-fifties of the last century and in the early sixties already actively delivered to Syria, Egypt and Iraq. In 1963, this fighter became the basis of the air forces of the Arab countries in the region, but its true power in Israel had a very General idea. The clouds in the middle East deepened, and Mossad made several attempts to seize the superweapon. However, to recruit the pilots who would be able to overtake the plane from Egypt to Israel has failed.

campaign Planning

After several failures in the Mossad decided that the rate should be on the pilot of a non-Muslim. The search was facilitated by the situation in Iraq, where at that time began the persecution of Christians. Many members of this faith for fear of persecution, began to think about fleeing the country. One of them was Munir Redfa – Iraqi fighter pilot, Assyrian origin. For some time he didn’t feel calm as the representative of the oppressed in Iraq minorities, but to all this was added the religious chauvinism.

“Operation Diamond”

Representatives of the “Mossad” through a third person managed to get on the servant of a Jew, who worked in the family Redfa Joseph SHAMMASH, and through him to contact the Munir. Konstantin Kapitonov in his book, “How he stole the MiG-21” says that the pilot was offered 500 thousand British pounds (morethan million American dollars at the then exchange rate) for the hijacking of the Mi-21, which just flew Munir, as well as Israeli citizenship. Assyrian hesitated and put forward a condition that Iraq should be taken out all of his numerous family.

Walks a beautiful legend that the final agreement Munir gave after talking with a certain American intelligence officer, which fascinated him and managed to persuade to cooperate. With the consent of the pilot, the “Mossad” has started implementation of its requirements. As he recalls in his memoirs, a direct participant in the events, the Iraqi Kurdish leader Mustafa Barzani, the evacuation was carried out by his forces. By August 1966 the family Radha and all his relatives mountain trails were exported to Israel. Munir remained to fulfill the promise.

Which he did on 15 August. During combat duty Redfa flew from Iraq to Israel. The whole journey took about 25 minutes. The aircraft was subjected to a thorough study of Israeli scientists, then sent to USA. Munir received the promised money and citizenship, but has lived in Israel for only three years. In 1969 he and his family moved to Italy, where until his death in 1998, kept the gas station.

Yaroslav Gorbunov

© Russian Seven

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