Israel and US to carry out ballistic missile defense drill

Israel and the United States, two long-time allies, will hold a joint exercise later this month, focusing on training in ballistic missile defense, the Israeli army said on Saturday.

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The five-day exercise, titled Juniper Cobra 2016, is part of a regular training cycle focusing on ballistic missile defense, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said.

USA Army
USA Army
The exercise, as part of a “long-standing partnership,” has been in the works since late 2014, which includes routine training cycles to improve cooperation between the Israeli and U.S. armies, according to the Israeli military.

The last drill was in southern Israel in October 2015 focusing on aerial capabilities.

The United States has recently implemented sanctions against Iran over its ballistic missile program, shortly after lifting sanctions over Tehran’s nuclear program in accordance with a deal reached in July 2015 between world powers and Iran. Israel was one of the deal’s loudest objectors.

Israel is currently finalizing a 10-year memorandum of understanding with the United States regarding defense assistance. Israel is one of the biggest aid recipients in this field from the United States, receiving three billion U.S. dollars annually in defense aid.

Whereas both Israeli and U.S. official stress the strong cooperation between the two allies nowadays, the diplomatic relations between the countries are strained.

The U.S. government has recently deplored Israel for its policies towards Palestinians in the occupied territories in the West Bank, and criticized the expansion of Jewish settlements and Israel’s recent legislative moves against non-governmental organizations that criticize the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. Enditem

Source:Xinhua

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