‘Juniper Falcon’: Israel, US Kick Off Joint Military Exercise

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‘Juniper Falcon’: Israel, US Kick Off Joint Military Exercise

An Iron Dome antimissile system is installed near the Israeli side of the border with Syria in the Golan Heights. IMAGE: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and the US military have kicked off the joint military exercise “Juniper Falcon”, the IDF announced on February 4.

In an official statement, the IDF said that the military exercise, that’s being carried out under the authority of the US European Command (EUCOM), simulates a scenario in which Israel is under the threat of surface-to-surface rockets, mortars and other aerial threats.

“The primary goal is to strengthen cooperation, coordination and mutual learning between the two armies, while expanding and maintaining deep strategic cooperation between the countries and their armies, and improving their ability to jointly defend against various threats,” the statement reads.

According to the IDF, several units will take part in the exercise, including the Air Defense Array, the Operations Directorate, the Israeli Navy, logistics units and medical forces.

“In the current exercise, special adjustments were made due to the Coronavirus, in order to ensure that the exercise takes place safely and that the participants remain healthy,” the army noted in its statement.

The Juniper Falcon exercise was first held by the IDF and the EUCOM in Israel in 2001. Since then, it has been held every other year, most recently in 2019.

Israel fears a large attack by Iran and its allies. According to Tel Aviv’s claims, thousands of rockets, missiles and mortar shells are in the hands of Iran’s close allies the Gaza Strip, Lebanon, Yemen and Syria.

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