TEL AVIV — Jordanian military planes are flying spy missions along the Saudi border to supply Iraq with information on troop movements, an Israeli military source said today.
The source, who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity, said the Jordanian reconnaissance flights are being flown by U.S.-made F-5 jets, giving a view of troop movements dozens of miles into Saudi Arabia.
The source described the areas reportedly being watched by the Jordanian craft as sectors along the Saudi-Jordan border that Iraq cannot cover without being obvious or risking confrontation.
It said Jordanian military aircraft also have stepped up flights along the Jordanian-Israeli border to watch for Israeli troop movements.
Throughout the Persian Gulf standoff, Israel has warned that any entry by Iraqi troops into Jordan would bring Israeli military retaliation.
Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, meanwhile, warned Iraq today against attempting to strike Israel. President Chaim Herzog tried to calm public fears by saying the Iraqi army is "not the mighty monster" it is made out to be.
They were reacting to a threat made Thursday by an Iraqi air force commander that Baghdad's forces would deal "smashing blows to the nests of the Israelis."