Feb. 3, 2018 – U.S. forces are arriving in Israel in preparation for Juniper Cobra, a major joint military drill launching next week that will simulate a war in which the Jewish state comes under attack with thousands of missiles.
The ninth biennial military exercise will simulate rocket and missile attacks from both the northern borders with Lebanon and Syria and the southern border with Gaza.
Iranian proxy Hezbollah is estimated to have some 50,000 soldiers and a weapons cache of about 130,000 short-medium- and long-range missiles.
Hezbollah has reportedly threatened to fire on Israel if the construction of a border fence is not stopped.
More than 3,000 soldiers from the IDF and United State’s European Command (EUCOM) take part in the biennial drill that aims to strengthen military cooperation against regional threats as well as bolster long-term security. 2016’s drill was America’s “premier exercise in this region and EUCOM’s highest priority exercise in 2016,” according to Lt. Gen. Timothy Ray, head of the U.S. Third Air Force.
Earlier this week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Russian President Vladimir Putin that Israel would “stop” Iran if it continues to entrench itself in Syria and turns Lebanon into a “missile factory.”
The prime minister said Lebanon “is becoming a factory for precision-guided missiles that threaten Israel. These missiles pose a grave threat to Israel, and we cannot accept this threat.”