Amid rising tensions, US troops in Israel for missile defense drill

Anna Ahronheim – February 4, 2018

With tensions high on both the northern and southern fronts, US troops are in Israel and have deployed anti-missile defense systems across the country ahead of the biennial Juniper Cobra military exercise.

The large-scale, five-day drill will simulate a massive missile attack on Israel from both fronts and will be led by the Israel Air Force, the IDF confirmed to The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.

“Such exercises are part of a long-term strategy and part of the ongoing cooperation between the IDF and the US military,” read the statement by the IDF’s Spokesperson’s Unit.

The joint exercise with the US Army European Command (EUCOM) is aimed at strengthening military cooperation against regional threats and promoting longterm security for Israel.

The last Juniper Cobra exercise in June 2016 saw more than 3,000 American troops taking part in what is considered the flagship exercise of the IAF Aerial Defense Division.