Today is the 30th Anniversary of Operation Opera, Israel’s strike on the Osirak nuclear reactor in Iraq, which destroyed Saddam Hussein’s nuclear weapons program.  The strike was widely criticized by the international community as a violation of international law.

One of the Israeli pilots, Ilan Ramon, died in the crash of the Space Shuttle Columbia.

Via Israel National News:

Thirty years ago Tuesday, on Sunday, June 7, 1981, eight IAF F-16s and and six F-15s took off from the IAF’s Etzion Base in northern Sinai. Their destination was the Iraqi nuclear plant at Al-Tuweitha, near Baghdad.

The youngest F-16 pilot was Captain Ilan Ramon, 25. He volunteered to fly last in the attack formation — the most dangerous position — because he had no wife or children.

The strike made history and denied Iraq’s Saddam Hussein his dream of nuclear weapons. He was eventually toppled and executed after the US led a coalition force into Iraq.

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