Next week, a major military drill will be conducted across Israel by IDF and American troops. The exercise simulates massive simultaneous rocket attacks from the southern and northern fronts and comes at a time when the tensions between Israel and Hezbollah are relatively high.
The drill in 2014 Photo Credit: US Embassy Tel Aviv/Flash 90
US forces have arrived in Israel ahead of a major joint military drill with the IDF next week. Juniper Cobra is a five-day military exercise that simulates massive simultaneous rocket attacks on Israel from the southern and northern fronts, the Channel 10 News agency reported on Wednesday.
The biennial Israeli-American drill was first held in Israel in 2001. Over 3,000 US and Israeli soldiers participated in the previous 2016 drill.
Next week’s exercise is set to take place at a time when the tensions between Israel and the Lebanon-based Hezbollah terrorist group are high. Earlier this week, Hezbollah sent a threat to Israel, stating that if the Israeli Defense Ministry does not stop building the barrier wall along the Lebanese border, it will fire rockets at Israel.
On Wednesday, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman addressed the possibility of an escalation along Israel’s northern border. Lieberman explained that “all options are open” but that Israel must prepare for a ground campaign. “There is no going forward and backward. We will go forward as quickly as possible,” the defense minister said. “Unlike the 2006 Lebanon War, there cannot be images of Beirut’s residents at the beach while [people] in Tel Aviv sit in shelters. If [people] in Israel sit in shelters during the next war, all of Beirut will be in shelters.”