First Published: 2012-11-14

 

Knocking on Iran’s door: US, Israel conclude major joint missile drill

 

Joint missile defence exercise sends clear signal to Iran over its disputed nuclear drive.

 

Middle East Online

JERUSALEM - Israeli and US troops have wrapped up a major missile defence exercise hailed as their largest-ever joint aerial military operation, the Israeli military said on Wednesday.

"Yesterday, US European Command and the Israel Defence Forces successfully concluded Austere Challenge 2012, a large-scale air defence exercise that included both field training and command post simulations," an army statement said.

The exercise involved some 3,500 personnel from the US European Command (US EUCOM) and 1,000 Israeli troops. It began in late October and was seen as sending a clear signal to Iran over its disputed nuclear drive, which much of the West believes masks a weapons drive despite Tehran's denial.

Troops trained together on Israel's Iron Dome missile defence system, the latest version of the US Patriot, and the Arrow anti-ballistic missile system, which was jointly developed by the two allies.

During the exercise, which lasted more than three weeks, violence between Israel and Gaza militants flared twice, with groups in the Palestinian territory firing hundreds of rockets into the Jewish state, some of which were intercepted by the Iron Dome system.

The exercise was expected to cost around $38 million (30 million euros), with Washington covering more than three-quarters of the total cost.

 

Syria nearly completes surrendering chemical weapons

Netanyahu: Unity with Hamas ‘giant leap backward’ for peace

Kuwait MPs seek to question PM over alleged corruption

UK reaches out to Muslim women to prevent Syria jihad ‘tragedies’

Cleaner power starts being generated in southwestern Morocco

Thirteen killed in Iraq car bomb attack

Yemen Qaeda militants seize hospitals to treat wounded

Second-ranking US diplomat warns of rising extremism in Libya

Algeria blogger who ‘mocked’ Bouteflika goes free on bail

Syria army launches deadly air raid on market area in Aleppo

Armenia leader accuses Ankara of 'utter denial' on genocide

Mauritanian president will stand for re-election

Washington easing aid freeze to Cairo

France, US mull sanctions against South Sudan

Israel weighs response to Palestinian unity deal

South Sudan leader sacks army chief

Jordan amends anti-terror law to curb Jihadist threat

Netayahu to Abbas: Does you want peace with Hamas or peace with Israel?

Bahrain expels representative of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani

Witnesses in Morsi trial: Hamas and Hezbollah attacked Egypt prisons

Family of detained Al-Jazeera reporter in Egypt call for his release

Bomb targets convoy of Education Minister in north Iraq

After Ervin scandal, Iran Prisons Chief becomes Head of Justice Department

Egypt FM travels to US as Washington relaxes hold on military aid

No Qatar ‘concessions’ on end of dispute with fellow Gulf states

US diplomat visits Libya amid political upheaval

Blair calls on West to combat ‘growing’ danger of Islamist extremism

Jarba asks Saudi Arabia to increase support for Syria rebels

Better late than never: Erdogan offers condolences over mass WWI killings of Armenians

Hezbollah veto dashes Geagea dreams of presidency

UN aid chiefs make impassionate call for Syria access

Police brigadier general killed in Cairo bomb attack

11 new MERS infections registered in Saudi

EU denounces Syria plans for June 3 election

Iran envoy row fails to make headway at UN

Amnesty: Qatar fails to protect domestic workers

US will deliver 10 Apache choppers to Egypt to counter terrorism

US expresses horror at South Sudan violence

Egypt's next president will have to deal with frustrated workers

Rival Palestinian leaders agree on national unity govt

Jumblatt backs lawmaker Henri Helou for Lebanon presidency

Global chemical watchdog: Syria weapons handover at 86.5 percent

Kerry ‘prefers’ Cold War-like situation to current complex challenges

Israel to call up Christian Arabs for military service

Egypt prosecutors submit new evidence in Jazeera trial