U.S. and Israel launch largest military exercise ever in warning to Iran and others (Video)

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The US and Israel launched their largest joint military exercise ever on Monday, January 23 sending a clear signal to Iran and underscoring the strength of their alliance.

The live-fire exercise, named Juniper Oak, will include 100 US aircraft with fighters, bombers and refueling aircraft flying alongside 42 Israeli aircraft.

A senior U.S. defense official said that the exercise is not oriented around a particular threat but that regional adversaries like Iran will take notice.

The USS George H. W. Bush carrier strike group will also take part in the exercise, which will cover all the domains of warfare to include space and electronic warfare.

Juniper Oak 23 is ‘the most significant exercise between the United States and Israel to date,’ the official said, citing the enormous number of aircraft, extensive coordination with the Israel Defense Forces, and the complicated live-fire component.

U.S F-35s will join a joint military exercise in Israel on Monday.

‘We can’t really find another (exercise) that even kind of comes close,’ said a senior US defense official to CNN.

Nearly ‘6,500 US personnel will participate in the exercise, as well as more than 1,100 Israeli personnel,’ the official said.

The exercise comes as tensions between the US and Iran remain high.

The Biden administration has introduced sanctions on Tehran following a brutal crackdown on protests in the country which have seen protesters executed.

Negotiations for a new nuclear agreement have also stalled.

Israel’s prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has consistently taken a hardline stance towards Iran, vowing upon the swearing in of his new government to ‘thwart Iran’s effort to obtain nuclear weapons.’

On Sunday, Netanyahu said the US and Israel would hold meetings on Iran in the coming weeks, following a visit from US national security adviser Jake Sullivan.

‘I was impressed that there is a genuine and mutual desire to reach understandings on this issue,’ Netanyahu said at the meeting.

Despite the shift and the burgeoning ties between Israel and Gulf Arab countries, none of those countries will take part in the exercise.

‘These kinds of exercises – which CENTCOM routinely conducts with our partners – develop interoperability between military forces, increase military capabilities and are important to the security and stability of the region,’ said Gen. Michael Erik Kurilla, the commander of US Central Command, in a statement.

‘The lessons learned during these exercises are exportable to our partners across the region.’

A previous US-Israel military exercise held in late-November was described by Israel’s military, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), as a simulation of a ‘long-range operational scenario and long-distance flights,’ including a ‘campaign against distant countries,’ a thinly-veiled reference to Iran.

The US government stressed that this exercise was not intended to be a simulation of an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, but the official acknowledged that Iran would be watching and taking note.

‘I do think that this scale of the exercise is relevant to a whole range of scenarios, and Iran may draw certain inferences from that,’ the official said.

‘An exercise of this size would normally take a year or more to plan, but this came together in a matter of months,’ the official said, not because of an imminent threat but a window of availability.

‘It would not surprise me if Iran, you know, sees the scale and the nature of these activities and understands what the two of us are capable of doing.’

Though the Biden administration favored a diplomatic solution to Iran’s advancing nuclear program, negotiations over reviving the Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), stalled.

Iran’s violent crackdown on domestic protests and its provision of suicide drones to Russia’s military have made the prospects of reviving the deal even more remote.

Israel, which was vehemently against a return to the JCPOA, pushed for a more aggressive US posture toward Iran and has promised to act against Iranian forces in the region.

The US has repeatedly promised under Democrat and Republican administrations that Iran will not be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons.

The exercise will run from Monday through Friday. The official could not say how Iran may react to the drills.

‘If there’s a sense that the Americans are distracted, or the Americans are going away from the Middle East, and therefore they have free rein for their malign activities. I think this will disabuse them,’ the official said.

‘I suspect Iran will take note of that, but not only Iran, China will take note of that, Russia will take note of that, other folks will take note of it.’

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Ola Alabi
Ola Moses is a certified writer, He writes technically and creatively. He is the CEO of WORDSWORTH, a house where writing is made easier for all. He is a content creator at EsB TV, since 2019. He is a young man that showcases professionalism in all that he does, he was announced as Child and Green Foundation Person of the Year 2018, one of his many lists of honours.

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