Israel, U.S. conclude joint exercises simulating attacks on Iran

JERUSALEM – Israel said on Wednesday that it completed large-scale exercises with the U.S. Armed Forces that simulated strikes on the Iranian nuclear program.

The exercises simulated “various scenarios in the face of emerging threats in the region: first and foremost the Iranian threat,” Israel’s outgoing Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s office said in a statement.

The exercises began on Tuesday with joint flights of four Israeli F-35i Adir stealth fighter jets that accompanied four U.S. F-15 fighter jets through Israel’s skies, the Israeli military said in a statement.

The Israeli Air Force also simulated “an operational scenario and long-distance flights,” the military added.

Israel’s Intelligence Directorate conducted “an extensive simulation that replicated a campaign against distant countries,” the statement read, adding the exercises tested Israel’s abilities in gathering intelligence, researching targets and making intelligence available to the operational forces.

“These exercises are a key component of the two militaries’ increasing strategic cooperation in response to shared concerns in the Middle East, particularly those posed by Iran,” the military said.

Iran has yet to comment on the Israel-U.S. joint aerial exercises.

The exercises came amid heightened tensions between the United States and Iran.

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