Munir Redfa

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Munir Redfa
منير ردفا
Born
Munir Habib Jamil Rufa

1934
Baghdad, Iraq
Died1998
NationalityIraqi
OccupationFighter pilot
Redfa's MiG-21, the subject of Operation Diamond, at the Israeli Air Force Museum in Hatzerim

Captain Munir Redfa (Arabic: منير ردفا‎, Syriac: ܡܘܢܝܪ ܪܕܦܐ‎), born Munir Habib Jamil Rufa (Arabic: منير حبيب جميل روفا‎, Syriac: ܡܘܢܝܪ ܚܒܝܒ ܓܡܝܠ ܪܘܦܐ‎‎) (1934 – c. 1998[1]) was an Iraqi fighter pilot. After Qasim's coup, Redfa was one of only five pilots the new regime trusted to continue serving with the sole Iraqi unit operating the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21, 11th Squadron.[2]

Redfa defected in 1966 in "Operation Diamond", flying a MiG-21 of the Iraqi Air Force to Israel. In what is considered as one of the Mossad's most successful operations, Redfa's entire extended family was smuggled safely out of Iraq to Israel. The MiG-21 fighter was evaluated by the Israeli Air Force and was later loaned to the United States for testing and intelligence analysis, as part of "Have Doughnut". Knowledge obtained from analysis of the aircraft was instrumental to the successes achieved by the Israeli Air Force in its future encounters with Arab MiG-21s.[1] Redfa's defection was the subject of the movie Steal the Sky (1988).

Redfa was an Assyrian, adherent of the Chaldean Catholic Church.

Redfa died of a heart attack around 1998.[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Reuven Weiss (May 29, 2007). "The Blue Bird legend". YNet News..
  2. ^ Tom Cooper, In 1966, Israeli Intelligence Convinced an Iraqi Pilot to Defect with His MiG-21 Fighter, The National Interest, 2016.

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