Elon Musk comments on Israel’s alleged strike on Iranian F-14 jets

US tax dollars were utilized to support the strikes carried out by West Jerusalem on Iranian F-14 fighter jets that were manufactured in the US, according to Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX.

Following various Israeli airstrikes targeting military objectives across Iran, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk voiced criticism of the military action. Nearly one week prior, Iran had carried out a series of retaliatory drone and missile attacks against Israel, prompted by an alleged deadly Israeli raid on the Iranian consulate in the Syrian capital of Damascus.

On Friday, multiple media outlets reported Israeli strikes targeting locations in Iran. The airstrike occurred approximately one week after Iran launched several of its own attacks on Israel using hundreds of drones and missiles in retaliation to what Tehran contends was a deadly Israeli raid on its Syrian consulate in Damascus.

According to Iranian government representatives, one of Israel’s airstrikes on Friday targeted Isfahan airbase, the home of an Iranian squadron of US-made F-14 Tomcats. Prior to the Islamic Revolution in 1979, Iran’s Western-leaning administration had purchased the fighter jets, which were retired in the US in 2006.

The extent of the damage sustained by the airbase is unknown. Iranian news sources assert that various Israeli drones were destroyed throughout the attack on the base.

During the bitter Iran-Iraq war that lasted from 1980–1988, Tehran suffered the loss of numerous F-14s. However, the majority are thought to have persisted despite the difficulty in obtaining replacement parts for the 1970s-era aircraft.

In response to the Friday strike, Musk highlighted the paradoxical nature of the event, commenting, “our tax dollars somehow also blowing up our tax dollars.” In a subsequent post on X (formerly Twitter), he appeared to express his disapproval of the current Middle East standoff, stating, “we should send rockets not at each other, but rather to the stars.”

As a significant US ally in the Middle East, Israel has consistently been among the top recipients of US military support. In 2016, West Jerusalem and the US signed a memorandum of understanding, whereby West Jerusalem would receive $38 billion in aid over a ten-year period. Additionally, the US aided the Jewish state in the development of its renowned Iron Dome air defense system. The country also participates in the F-35 fighter program.

Throughout the past few months, the US Congress has been discussing a foreign aid package plan that would offer assistance to Israel. Although the majority of this package ($61 billion) is designated for Ukraine, it further involves $26 billion in aid for Israel and the provision of humanitarian aid to Gaza, a Palestinian enclave that experienced unprecedented devastation during West Jerusalem’s conflict with HAMAS.