U.S., Israel to conduct missile defense exercise in Israel

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Jerusalem, Oct 11(ANI): Amid growing tensions with Iran, the United States and Israel will reportedly conduct a joint missile defense exercise this week in order to simulate a response in the event of war between Israel, Iran, Syria and Lebanon.

The 'Juniper Cobra exercise' will begin on Monday and conclude on Friday and more than 1,000 American troops from the European Command in Germany have been deployed in Israel for the whole process, The Jerusalem Post reports.

The U. S. have also deployed some 15 missile ships, with some of them carrying the Aegis ballistic missile defense system.

Admiral Mark Fitzgerald, commander of the US Navy's Sixth Fleet, will oversee the exercise alongside senior officers from EUCOM and the US Missile Defense Agency.

While on the Israeli side, Air Defence Division's Brigadier General Doron Gavish will command the exercise.

According to reports, the exercise will include the Arrow missile defense system as well as three American systems - the THAAD, Aegis and PAC-3 - that will all be deployed in Israel for the duration of the exercise. The purpose of the exercise was to ensure that if there were a need, the Israeli Arrow 2 ballistic missile defense system would be capable of working with American systems that might be deployed here to bolster Israeli defenses. Earlier, Mojtaba Zolnour, an aide to the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had said that if the US or Israel attacks Iran, Teheran would retaliate and "blow up the heart of Israel".

Zolnour had threatened that "Even if one American or Zionist missile hits our country, before the dust settles, Iranian missiles will blow up the heart of Israel'. (ANI)

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